Each year, The Center invites to campus artists across a range of genres and disciplines to share their work with the community through an evening lecture, performance, or presentation. With a focus on emerging women artists whose work intersects with urgent social, political, cultural, or environmental issues, the Guest Artist lecture series seeks to give the Sweet Briar community an intimate look at the developing work of an artist whose work crosses or transends traditional boundaries.
2018-2019 Moreshin Allahyari
The recipient of the leading global thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine, Morehshin Allahyari is what Sweet Briar calls a “woman of consequence.” In fact, consequence” might not be a big enough word for Morehshin. Or at least we might qualify it further: a woman of seismic consequence might be a better way to describe her.
An artist, activist, writer, educator, and, as she says, a “sometimes curator,” she was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face as human beings every day. She thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects and as a poetic means to document our personal and collective life struggles in the 21st century.
Morehshin is co-author of The 3D Additivist Cookbook — “additivist” being a combination of the words “additive” and “activism” — in collaboration with writer/artist Daniel Rourke. This work, in the artists’ words, seeks “to expand and challenge the scope of the 3-D printer… to begin a conversation about the material politics of this clunky, often over-hyped machine, a politics that might inspire tutors and technicians into using and teaching the 3D printer in critical, poetic, and disruptive new ways.”
Morehshin’s own work Material Speculation: Isis, focuses on a 3D modeling and printing project that reconstructis several artifacts – statues from the Roman period city of Hatra and Assyrian artifacts from Ninevah — that were destroyed by Isis in 2015. I hope she’ll talk about this fascinating project today.
She has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops around the world including the Venice Biennale di Archittectura, the New Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, the Tate Modern in London, the Queens Museum, Pori Museum, Powerhouse Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. She is the recipient of numerous artists residencies around the world, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, Wired, National Public Radio, Parkett Art Magazine, Frieze, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Al Jazeera, among others.
Her 3D Additivist Manifesto video is in the collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and recently she has been awarded major commissions by Rhizome, the New Museum, the Whitney, Liverpool Biennale, and FACT to work on developing different components of her current project She Who Sees The Unknown, in which she uses 3D modeling, 3D Scanning, 3D printing, and storytelling to re-create monstrous female/queer figures of Middle-Eastern origin, using the traditions and myths associated with them to explore the catastrophes of colonialism, patriarchism, and environmental degradation in relationship to the Middle East.