Amy Khoshbin: The Myth of Layla

September 25, 2016 – November 12, 2016


A new performative installation from the Iranian-American artist

September 25 at 3PM
October 8 at 4:30PM
October 15 at 6PM, followed by an artist talk moderated by Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum

The protagonist of Amy Khoshbin’s exhilarating new piece is the charismatic and conflicted Layla, a Middle Eastern activist living in a SciFi, not-too-distant future: a big-brother media conglomerate called The Network runs the US government and is at war with a fictionalized Middle Eastern country akin to Iran. Daily life is heavily controlled. The natural environment has become too dangerous, and citizens are forced to stay indoors. Their only contact to the outside world comes through screens, with content produced by The Network. Recognizable media-manipulation tactics prevail: fear of the Other, violence, and propaganda presented as reasonable safety-measures. With these themes, Khoshbin directly confronts the issues of political ideology and celebrity-obsessed media. When we meet her, Layla has created a powerful anti-war video, which has become too popular for her own good. The Network comes knocking.

Taking satirical cues from the absurd structures of reality TV, Khoshbin presents a backdrop of projected videos, outrageous colorful costumes, and elaborate handmade props. Viewers become part of the piece, captured by running cameras and screened during the performance. (These will be later developed into long-form videos, which will be screened in the BSMT space.) Khoshbin creates a dramatic parallel universe that echoes our own, vividly demonstrating the dangers of media control.

The work is situated in Mana’s newly-launched BSMT gallery.

About Amy Khoshbin
Amy Khoshbin is a Brooklyn-based artist who combines many disciplines: performance, video, collage, costume and sound. Her work has been presented at BAM, Abrons Arts Center, The Invisible Dog Art Center, The Stone, and festivals such as River to River, South by Southwest and Maker Faire. She has completed residencies at The Watermill Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency 2014-16, Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, Team Effort! in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She received a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Community Engagement Grant and is one of Creative Capital’s On Our Radar recipients for The Myth of Layla. She has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Tina Barney, and poets Anne Carson and Bob Currie, among others. She is currently in residence at Mana BSMT from July 2016 - January 2017. For more information, visit

Performance Credits
Created by Amy Khoshbin
Directed by Morgan Green
Dramaturgy by Yuliya Tsukerman

Amy Khoshbin (Layla)
Maxwell Cosmo Cramer (Producer)
Ryann Weir (Producer)
Kenneth Rivero (Network Guard)
Kristianne Molina (Network Guard)

Cinematographer and Editor: Jessica Gardner
VIdeographers: Matthew Kohn and Azikiwe Mohammed
Lighting Designer: Tuce Yasak
Sound Designer: Michael Clemow
Video Technician: Ava I-Wen Huang

Press Release
Curatorial Essay

(1) Video still from Amy Khoshbin, The Myth of Layla, 2014
(2) Amy Khoshbin, Gold Lady: Terror Level Five, Eyes Open, Photo by Corbin Ordel
(3) Video still from Amy Khoshbin, The Myth of Layla, 2014