Screening, Off Site

22 April 2023, 7:00pm–9:00pm ET

a dream, a mountain, a ruin with Gelare Khoshgozaran

Innis Town Hall Theatre

2 Sussex Avenue
University of Toronto

Gelare Khoshgozaran’s work sets up a deep engagement with moving images that address the geopolitical urgencies afflicting our contemporary context. Viewers are invited to a close study of Khoshgozaran’s films that inform the poetry and dreams of diasporic longings, embedded in the exploration of form and assembly; and in the resounding echoes of life despite endless wars, invasions, and occupation. The works presented in this program open up broader conversations around documentation, dislocation, and the lyric, asking: How do these images condition the effects of reimagined spaces? And how do they inform the stories we tell of exile and dispossession?

This program is curated and developed by Nasrin Himada.

Men of My Dreams (2020). Super 8 film transferred to video, 10 min.

A poetic reflection on the artist’s exile that connects Tehran with Los Angeles, Men of My Dreams unfolds a series of vignettes that toy with the unstable ground between dream and reality. Treating the past as materially present in fragments of knowledge carried by the body, it delves into the artist’s personal history while seeking the idea of home in the lineage of antifascist thought, poetry, and activism.
To Keep the Mountain at Bay (2023). Super 8 film transferred to video, 11 min.

Using poetry and prose excerpts with film footage, To Keep the Mountain at Bay narrates displacement and exile with an oniric and politically motivated tone. The film is an attempt to map exile as a space of collectivity and transnational solidarity, against the passivity of nostalgia and assimilationist propaganda.
Royal Debris (2022). 16mm and Super 8 film transferred to video, 35 min.

The former Iranian embassy located in Washington, D.C. has been shuttered for over forty years. The vacant building embodies a contradiction: it is a ruin due in large part to ongoing US sanctions against Iran, which don’t allow for maintenance. In contrast, it is privileged with exceptional protection thanks to its foreign mission status. Taking the building’s symbolic and material status as its departure point, the project reflects on borders, statelessness, and nationhood, weaving a narrative through vignettes of personal stories, design, architecture, poetry, and contemporary arts.


Gelare Khoshgozaran is an undisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose work engages with the legacies of imperial violence. She uses film and video to explore narratives of belonging outside of the geographies and temporalities that have both unsettled our sense of home and made our places of affinity uninhabitable.

Nasrin Himada is a Palestinian writer and curator currently residing in Kingston, Ontario. They hold the position of Associate Curator at Agnes Etherington Art Centre.