Indiegogo Campaign (6 more days): Susan Deyhim – The House is Black: a 75-minute stage and film performance

A multimedia project inspired by the life and works of Iranian icon, poet and filmmaker, Forough Farrokhzad, presented at CAP UCLA.

(This campaign is raising funds on behalf of C3 Center For Conscious Creativity, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can’t be specified for any particular purpose.)

Project Summary

Photo courtesy of Susan Deyhim

Photo courtesy of Susan Deyhim

This project seeks to shed light on the history of Iranian contemporary arts through the vision of two of Iran’s most avant-garde female artists, Forough Farrokhzad and Sussan Deyhim.

The final piece will take the form of a 75-minute stage and film performance piece in which Forough’s poems will be woven into an original musical score by Deyhim, combining Persian and Western contemporary classical influences with jazz, blues, and electronic music.

Archival images and scenes from Forough’s documentary The House is Black and Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1965 interview with Forough, along with Deyhim’s original film and visual projections, will create the backdrop and provide a window into the life of Iran’s most controversial poet and filmmaker.

The initial performance previews of the piece will take place on January 19th, 2014, at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, in Freud Hall.

“The House is Black” by Sussan Deyhim from Sussan Deyhim on Vimeo.

From the Artist

For me, the most inspiring aspect of this project is the opportunity to introduce the great work and sensibility of an Iranian female icon to the international community. Many Iranian intellectuals consider Forough a cultural godmother of modernist literature in Iran, but she died so young (at the age of 32) that I also think of her as our cultural daughter. A rebel with a cause.

Farough spoke with awe-inspiring rawness and maturity. She was an existentialist, feminist provocateur. She was Iran’s Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, Maya Deren and Patty Smith all rolled into one. Her work has given me the inspiration to continue my own artistic journey during my 30 years in exile from Iran.

Her poetry is the narrative for this project and through it I am able to express some of my deepest feelings and visions about Iran both metaphorically and literally.

Across the piece’s abstract conceptual landscape, I will lead the audience through each tableau in a series of unique interpretations of the various characters from Forough’s poems, transporting them on an evocative journey to Iran of the 1950’s and back in the present where we need to embrace the universality and humanity of her message more than ever. The score and the sound design is inspired by the poetic and emotional content of each poem to create a moving song cycle within an ambient atmosphere.

With the enormous pressure currently placed on Iranian artists and intellectuals –especially women—Forough’s fight for freedom of artistic and ideological expression remains the central issue of our time 50 years after her death.

Read more about the campaign here: