A headless couple in formal clothes exit a carriage into a snowy scene.

Rokni Haerizadeh, Reign of Winter (detail of film still), 2012-2013, Carnegie Museum of Art, The Henry L. Hillman Fund, © Rokni Haerizadeh. By permission.

Rokni Haerizadeh: Reign of Winter


The latest iteration of Carnegie Museum of Art’s online exhibition series features Reign of Winter, a silent, animated video work by Rokni Haerizadeh (Iranian, b. 1978). The film was initially exhibited as part of the 2013 Carnegie International.

The film follows the 2011 wedding procession of Kate Middleton and Prince William from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace; however, the live-action components of the footage have been replaced with fantastical forms and anthropomorphic figures. Haerizadeh painted over still images of broadcast coverage, creating a dynamic stop-motion animation film that invites viewers to consider how mass media influences our perceptions and interpretations of current events, traditions, and empire. His reworked compositions, which he refers to as “moving paintings,” turn the pristine, formal celebration into a surreal event that features a bathtub taking the place of a carriage and a congregation full of animals. Although Reign of Winter was created during 2012 and 2013, the work still speaks to the role of the artist in critiquing the highly choreographed rituals that command media attention today.

Rokni Haerizadeh: Reign of Winter is organized by Kiki Teshome, the Margaret Powell Curatorial Fellow at Carnegie Museum of Art.

About the Artist

Rokni Haerizadeh was born in Tehran in 1978 and currently lives and works in Dubai. His paintings and stop-motion animation films satirize social and public gatherings—particularly weddings, religious festivals, funerals and banquets—to reveal the absurdities embedded in tradition and ritual. Haerizadeh received his BA in fine arts and his MA in painting from the University of Tehran. His works are held in public and private collections including the Guggenheim, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art; the British Museum; Tate Modern; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; and the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection. Haerizadeh maintains a collaborative practice with Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, and together they have staged exhibitions internationally.

Exhibition Images

A headless bride and groom walk hand in hand as a snow falls.
A crowd of people with the heads of turkeys stand around an aisle.
Two men in polka-dotted wrestling makes and matching suits play instruments inside a large hall.
a headless couple in formal clothes stand at an altar waiting to be wed.
Two fantastic beings with horse legs and canine heads lead a procession down a tunnel.
A man with the head of a dog stands guard as a carriage shaped like a rabbit arrives infant of a large building.
A collage of a large building with waves crashing at its entrance.
A collaged depiction of the London skyline.
A man with a blurred face stands next to a cake with arms.

About the Online Exhibition Series

Carnegie Museum of Art’s online exhibition series draws from the museum’s vast film and video collection and is an extension of the museum’s curatorial program in the digital sphere. The online exhibition series offers a new channel for local and global audiences alike to experience time-based works previously only accessible in-person. With this initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art is revolutionizing how visitors can engage with its significant holdings at a time when many cultural institutions are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

About Film and Video at Carnegie Museum of Art

The Department of Film and Video was among the first of its kind when it opened in 1970 as a three-year venture led by Sally Dixon, eventually growing into a full-fledged department that garnered national and international attention. In its first twenty years, the department worked with more than 150 artists including Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Joan Jonas, Carolee Schneemann, Hollis Frampton, Roger Jacoby, Bruce Conner, and Yvonne Rainer. The department was incorporated into the museum’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2003, including its significant collection of nearly 1,000 film and video works.


General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Premier Partners