JR and Hillary Clinton Join 'Eyes on Iran' Action Aimed at UN
Iranian artists including Shirin Neshat and Sheida Soleimani worked on the multi-faceted installation, which faces the United Nations building in Manhattan.
Shirin Neshat, Offered Eyes (1993). Installation view at Eyes on Iran, New York, 2022. Photo: Austin Paz. Courtesy For Freedoms.
Eyes on Iran, a project bringing attention to Iranian women's fight for freedom, was unveiled in New York's Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park today.
Iranian artists Aphrodite Désirée Navab, Shirin Neshat, Sepideh Mehraban, Icy and Sot, Sheida Soleimani, Shirin Towfiq, and Z all created works for the project, along with French street artist JR and American conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas.
Included is a literal eye, a black and white photograph from Neshat's 1993 work Offered Eyes, wheat-pasted onto the park's central steps.
'When we say that we must keep our "Eyes on Iran", we mean that what is happening deserves not only our attention but our vision,' Neshat said.
Iranian authorities continue to crackdown on protestors, with UN human rights chief Volker Turk claiming last week that over 14,000 arrests had been made since protests began.
Eye's On Iran amplifies the call of the Woman, Life, Freedom campaign to have Iran removed from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
It is a call supported by figures such as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, and Jacinda Ardern.
'We are calling on the world to take more action, starting at the United Nations,' Clinton said at the project's opening ceremony, which was also attended by Human Rights Lawyer Gissou Nia, singer Sepideh Moafi, and Grammy Award-winner Jon Batiste.
'What we are seeing is a revolution led by young women who are just not willing to live with the loss of freedom being imposed upon them,' Clinton said.
The unveiling ceremony coincides with the U.N.'s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Strategically located on Roosevelt Island, Eyes on Iran will stare down the United Nations HQ across the East River until 1 January 2023.
Among the planned activities are flying billboards called Eyes in the Sky, which were designed by Thomas and Mahvash Mostala. Using these billboards, works by Hank Willis Thomas and Mahvash Mostala will soar over New York on 3 December following an initial showing over Miami's South Beach on 28 and 30 November.
An interactive installation by JR will take place at the park on 4 December, and other artists' works will be shown online as part of the project.
'The world's eyes have been focused on the courage of Iranian citizens in their quest for freedom, in the face of increasingly grave danger,' said human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay.
'Eyes on Iran is our response to their call for a free Iran,' she said. —[O]