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Satisfaction Not Guaranteed by Nooshin Hakim Javadi

Catalog Release Reception on Wednesday July 28th, from 6-8PM


Exhibition Runs: June 12 - July 11, 2021


Gallery Hours Starting June 13th: Wednesday-Fridays 1-6pm, Saturdays-Sundays 11-5pm and by appointment.

SooVAC values the health and safety of our community and limits the number of visitors in the gallery, requires masks, and distancing while at SooVAC. Please email for more on our Covid-19 safety measures or to schedule a private appointment to visit the gallery. 


Nooshin Hakim Javadi works at the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance. As an Iranian now living in the United States, Javadi’s practice investigates the material culture of conflict, displacement, and transition, by delving into how these experiences are internalized by the body.


In Satisfaction Not Guaranteed, Nooshin Hakim Javadi re-contextualizes games of strategy and chance, inviting viewers to enact global conflicts in the form of seesaws, and darts. By reimagining popular games as political objects, the work creates visual metaphors for how conquest, in a variety of forms, often masks itself as liberation. Exporting Liberty, one of the works in the exhibition, repurposes Statue of Liberty foam stress toys into satirical projectiles. A cork silhouette of Iran acts as the target with Tehran at the center of its bull’s eye. Players are invited to strike graphics that litter the board including major Iranian cities and its energy economy: oil, natural gas, mining, and nuclear power.


The absurd design of the darts make them difficult to aim, often resulting in unintended consequences-“blowback,” as the CIA might call it. “Unintended consequences” have been a part of the history of the United States and Iran, going all the way back to the CIA’s involvement in the 1953 coup that toppled Mohammad Mosaddegh, and then installed the corrupt Mohammad Reza Shah, that ultimately set the stage for the 1979 revolution that brought the current regime to power.


Hakim Javadi looks for conflict in pieces like this, incorporating the familiar language of a game so that people can enter into the experience, grappling with the larger themes and playing out the social aspects of compromise, conflict and collaboration, with a sense of humor and an invitation to participation.


She uses common objects as vexed markers of time and place, offering alternative points of entry to the socio-political present. Whether through interactive installations or transformative interventions in the state of objecthood, her work grapples with the simultaneous absurdity and haunted longing inherent to a diasporic existence.


Nooshin Hakim Javadi  is the recipient of the 2020/21 Jerome Fellowship for Visual Art, a 2018/19 Target Studio for Creative Collaboration Fellow at the Weisman Art Museum and received the 2017 Franconia Sculpture Park Jerome Fellowship. She is currently an Assistant professor of Art at Notre Dame. Her interdisciplinary works and performances have been shown in the United States, Germany, and Iran including the Museum fur Neue Kunst, Freiburg, Germany; Parks Exhibition Center, Idyllwild, CA; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim, Neuenhaus, Germany; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN.

Satisfaction Not Guaranteed and Your Games And, Your Gains grapple with the fall out of U.S. interventions in Iran and the resulting tensions between the two countries. Javadi, Iranian, and Baldari, Kurdish-Iranian, now live in the United States and navigate these issues from multiple perspectives intertwined with both comedy and tragedy, including collaborative elements between the two artists. And even though they are presenting work that is founded on violent histories, it is also full of humor and beauty, as the absurdities of life frequently present a multitude of emotions.

“This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.”


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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