Free-style and shuffle.
Coming across someone’s all time favourite playlist is almost like knowing the secrets to chiromancy. In this case, artist Sheida Soleimani opened her hand for us to discover the rest: the first rap she learned all the lyrics to, the song which music video shaped her thoughts on her own sexuality and the one that got her dancing ‘too provocatively’ at age thirteen. Blue, red and green arrows give us clues on how to unravel and connect her personal history and craft through these musical jams: Chingy’s sassy “Right Thurr”, Purple Ribbon All Stars’s fast paced “Kryptonite” and Petey Pablo’s 2000’s retro feel “Freek-a-Leek”. First impressions? Fun, powerful and playful. A confident artist who uses humor and metaphors to subversively defy and discuss political structures. No time to care about fate, love or money lines in your palms… Urgency to critique is first! “If you want it bad // You gotta steal your own fuel” sing The Breeders in “Huffer” and Sheida too, when she wants to prove everyone wrong. This way of celebration is also at the core of her artistic approach to critical demands. By calling upon familiar figures and recognisable symbols her mixed media artworks become a parody of decadent political and destructive economic choices, like the prevalence of white straight men in positions of power and unruly exportation of crude in Iran. “We are not one and the same” boldly and rightfully said in the song “I Don’t Like”. Soleimani is definitely pointing us in the right directions by giving multiple choices of path and a playlist with no specific order, just like the design in her composition, with no starting or ending point.
A proposal for a revolutionary argument here: to hold hands and sing Radiohead in unison.
Words by Martin Mayorga