Session 20: Absence and Image

Guest Speaker:  Shima Taj Bakhsh (MFA, California State University Long Beach Sculpture/4D)

May 7th, 2023 


In this talk, Shima will discuss her ongoing project, "The Absence of a Name," which includes documentary research, oral history, and a biographical investigation linked through sound, video, and installation. By using an anonymous gravestone at the cemetery in Iran, the installation revolves around the speculation of an individual's identity. In her talk, Shima will discuss the creative processes behind her projects, including the challenges of creating art that combines multiple mediums and navigates complex subject matter. She will also showcase pieces from her related exhibition, "Apparitions," which features installation art that reflects on pigeons as city dwellers and constant companions of humankind. 

Suggested reading before the meeting

Short Readings:


Speaker’s Biography

Shima Taj Bakhsh works in a range of media, interested in nonlinear narratives that shift from generation to generation and can be read through fragments of architecture. Her work's time-based, sculptural configurations represent a constant liminal state wherein cultural and social edges rub up against other boundaries, encounter other timelines, and bridge histories. Much of her work questions the material conditions of bodies and borders in an integrated series of installations that touch on how culture and nature reflect in an architectural image.

Shima has exhibited across Southern California and beyond, including Human Resources Los Angeles, Kleefeld Contemporary art museum, and Iran Second Contemporary Art Biennale at Niavaran Cultural Center. Shima holds MFA from California State University Long Beach and earned a BFA in sculpture from the University of Tehran.