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Tannaz Farsi: A More Perfect Union

November 19, 2020 - December 19, 2020

Black graphic symbols on a light grey background. The symbols are made up of diamond shapes and triangle-ended rectangles.

The American flag is an object, an image, and an idea signifying a shared history that tethers the bodies of citizens to the edges of this land.
Who does this belong to? What do we rally around?
Who is considered a citizen? For how long?
Under what circumstance does one become suspect?
What is sacrificed in order to belong?

HOLDING Contemporary is pleased to present new spatial works by Tannaz Farsi. A More Perfect Union opens on Thursday, November 19 and runs through December 19, 2020. Gallery hours are noon – 5:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday. A conversation between Tannaz Farsi and curator Lucy Cotter will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2020 at 5pm PT on Zoom. Meeting ID: 855 192 711 Password 060467.

In her practice, Farsi uses text and material to create contingent works and installations rooted in diasporic (immigrant, refugee) identity, history, and language. A More Perfect Union consists of both amorphous and structured artworks that reflect on questions of citizenship in the United States during a significant time of unrest and months of living at a public distance and close domestic proximity amid widespread protests simulcast on streets and screens. A More Perfect Union, is a phrase extracted from the preamble to the US Constitution, and in this exhibition, intended to acknowledge structural failures that show the distance of our everyday reality to the imagined democratic experiment outlined in the founding document of this country. Farsi’s installation of words, actions, and repetitions stand in as markers of rage, fear, and sorrow, as well as a collective aspiration for change.

Tannaz Farsi’s practice is a configuration of objects and images that address the complicated networks around the conception of memory, history, identity and geography. Drawing from historic cultural objects, feminist histories, and theories of displacement evidenced by long-standing colonialist and authoritarian interventions into daily life, her project-based works propose a different means of representation regarding non-western subjects and objects that obstruct singular and conventional means of identification. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and supported through residencies including Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, MacDowell Colony, Santa Fe Art Institute and the Rauschenberg Foundation. Her work has been acknowledged by grants and awards includings a Hallie Ford Fellowship in 2014 and a Bonnie Bronson Fellowship in 2019. Born in Iran, Farsi lives and works in Eugene, OR where she is on the faculty at the University of Oregon.


November 19, 2020
December 19, 2020
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Wheelchair accessible, Service Animals allowed
BIPOC artist(s), Women-owned, Women curated, Women artist(s)
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art
Pandemic Info


Holding Contemporary
916 NW Flanders Street
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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