Common Love

Atoosa Farahmand, Belonging, Stockholm, Sweden, 2022
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About Der Greif

Der Greif is an award-winning contemporary photography organization. Through crowdsourcing, Der Greif brings together diverse voices and provides a platform and visibility for a range of practitioners and their works. Since 2008, Der Greif has engaged with topics like changing authorship perceptions, image de- and re-contextualization, appropriation, and artistic approaches to photographic archives and remix culture.

Der Greif's publications demonstrate how pairings of images by different authors can generate new meanings. Der Greif explores the creation, distribution, and reception of images - in print, on screens, and in exhibitions. The organization reflects on and questions the role of images: how we construct and perceive our environment and our respective responsibilities within it.

Since issue #11, Der Greif has been guest-edited by artists Jason Fulford, Broomberg & Chanarin, Penelope Umbrico and Sylvie Fleury, among others.

Der Greif has worked with institutions such as FOAM, Aperture Foundation, C/O Berlin, Fotomuseum Winterthur and published works from about 3.000 photographers, artists and authors in printed publications as well as online.
Der Greif and Shirin Neshat put out an open call, inspired by the line „I am a common pain, scream me“ from Ahmad Shamlou‘s poem “Common Love”, printed on the inner cover of this issue.

1.500 artists and photographers from all over the world responded to this theme.

The result is a poetic and multifaceted visual narration through 86 images.

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York. Neshat works and continues to experiment with the mediums of photography, video and film, which she imbues with highly poetic and politically charged images and narratives that question issues of power, religion, race, gender and the relationship between the past and present, East and West, individual and collective through the lens of her personal experiences as an Iranian woman living in exile.

Neshat has held numerous solo exhibitions in museums internationally including the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; The Broad, Los Angeles; Museo Correr, Venice, Italy; and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.

Neshat has directed three feature-length films, Women Without Men (2009), which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, Looking For Oum Kulthum (2017), and most recently Land of Dreams, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival (2021).

She is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York and Goodman Gallery in London.

“I often use poetry as a starting point for inspiration and Ahmad Schamlou’s poem, „Common Love,” deeply resonates with me and speaks about our shared humanity.

We all grapple with grief and trauma, both on an individual and collective level. But with this common ground, we feel less alone. This is human nature: we see and feel that others experience similar struggles therefore we feel bonded and hopeful.

That is why we create art and culture to reach beyond our differences. The most powerful works in my opinion are those which connect people and evoke shared emotions without explanation.”

Shirin Neshat
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