Event Details

“For me it has always been a city of ruins and of end-of-empire melancholy. I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy or (like all Istanbulus) making it my own.”

-Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City

I will build a boat

I will keep sailing

I will keep sailing

Beyond the seas there IS a town

Where windows are open to epiphanies

The rooftops are inhabited by pigeons

Gazing at the fountains of Human Intelligence

Every ten-year-old child holds a bough of knowledge

The townsfolk see in a brick row a flame,

Or a delicate dream;

Dust can hear the music of your feelings

The fluttering wings of mythical birds are audible in the wind

Beyond the seas there is a town

Where the Sun is as wide-open as the eyes of early-risers

Poets are the inheritors of water, wisdom, and light

Beyond the seas there is a town,

So one should build a boat.

-Sohrab Sepehri

“A destruction, an annihilation that only man can provoke, only man can prevent.”

-Elie Wiesel

You walk down alleyways and dead-ends. You circle the squares and roundabouts of your memory. You recognize the feel of the summer heat on your skin. That is yours for ever. Passing by an open window, you know the smell of the mid day meal cooking on a stove. You are sure the fried onions would have a sweet taste on your tongue if you were called in to share the repast. You should be in sync with the city’s pulse, this beating heart that you sense against the soul of your shoes.

And yet.

And yet you see it cracking, crumbling, crashing. For years now, for a long time. It is soundless, slow, steady. You are walking down narrow lanes, tree lined avenues and around street corners, all renamed reshaped. Where there was a door there is gaping hole. Where there were windows, blind darkness within an empty frame. A three legged chair abandoned to its fate, a stuffed bear for the alley cats. Cities no longer in control of their past or their destiny, abandoned to the pillage of the greedy, of the small limited minds.

You walk down narrow lanes and pass by filigreed garden gates. You look for stories, memories contained within the walled ruins that were home to all that. And so much more than that. The heart and soul of the city.

And yet.

You find a city without borders a city with no past, no future. And you remember having read this:

“If I see my city as beautiful and bewitching, then my life must be so too.”

-Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: memories and the city

-Parinaz Eleish Gharagozlou

Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery

Image caption: Parinaz Eleish Gharagozlou, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Amnesia Series), 2020. Acrylic paint, oil paint, oil pen, pencil, paper, collage on canvas, 183.51 x 239.08 cm



December 14 (Tuesday) - February 10 (Thursday)


Leila Heller Gallery

17 East 76th Street (off Madison Avenue) New York, NY 1002


Leila Heller Gallery 17 East 76th Street (off Madison Avenue) New York, NY 10021 Tel: +1 212 249 7695

Learn More



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.



FIRST ACT BY MARYA KAZOUN IS UNVEILED IN THE SALA BIANCA OF PALAZZO PITTI, GALLERIE DEGLI UFFIZI CONTEMPORARY ART AGAINST THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS The director of the museum Eike Schmidt: “The conservation of artistic heritage and the conservation of landscape…

Islamic Arts Biennale

Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s inaugural edition of Islamic Arts Biennale to spotlight 18 Saudi Arabian artists   Hosted by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, one of the key highlights of the inaugural edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale taking place between January…

Noor Riyadh: Annual festival of light and art illuminates Saudi Arabia’s capital city

 Noor Riyadh: Annual festival of light and art illuminates Saudi Arabia’s capital city, with 190 artworks by more than 130 local and international artists  Noor Riyadh 2022 brings together renowned names in light art, who will present their works alongside a roster…

Qatar Museums install new public art across the city

As part of its plans to transform the nation’s landscape into a vast outdoor art museum experience, Qatar Museums, in collaboration with the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar (Ashghal), has recently installed several public…

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023 or the “Energy of Harmony”

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023 received over 650 global applicants for its upcoming edition themed ‘Energy of Harmony’  Artists for the 4th edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture will be chosen from more than 650 applications that were received for the edition themed ‘Energy of…

Six shows to see in Dubai this January

GALLOIRE: “ELEMENTAL PERCEPTION”   Elemental Perception brings together five world-renowned artists: Julio Le Parc, Blair Thurman, Jan Kalab, Miguel Chevalier, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet at Galloire in City Walk, Dubai. These artists collectively manipulate geometric forms, and utilise colour and light to…

february 2023


12jan(jan 12)10:0015apr(apr 15)06:00Samia Halaby and Farid Haddad

15jan(jan 15)06:0020feb(feb 20)06:00My Favourite Things 7