Iranian-born artist Morehshin Allahyari will speak at Sweet Briar College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Fitness and Athletics Center’s 1948 Theater.
Allahyari has been living in the United States since 2007. She is an artist who uses art to investigate the intersection between technology and politics. According to her website, “she thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects and as a poetic means to document our personal and collective lives struggles in the 21st century.” She is the co-author, along with Daniel Rourke, of “The 3-D Additivist Cookbook.”
She is perhaps best-known for her 3-D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS. This work, “Material Speculation: ISIS,” has received widespread curatorial and press attention and has been exhibited worldwide.
Allahyari’s work has been seen around the world, including at the Venice Biennale di Archittectura, New Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Pompidou Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, Tate Modern, Queens Museum, Pori Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Dallas Museum of Art and Museum für Angewandte Kunst. Her work has also been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera and more. She’s also been an artist-in-residence at CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Autodesk Pier9 Workshop in San Francisco and the Banff Center. Allahyari was named one of the leading global policy thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2016.
“Only in her early thirties, Morehshin Allahyari has already been part of many exhibitions, festivals and workshops around the world,” says Carrie Brown, director of the College’s Center for Creativity, Design and the Arts. “She understands that art does not exist in a vacuum, but is always in dynamic conversation with forces around the artist and in the world. She understands that art has the power to shape both individual and collective human experience in profound and lasting ways. In working collaboratively with artists in the U.S. and Iran, for example, she describes the essential questions the artists asked themselves: ‘How could art become a bridge between countries of conflict and provide the opportunity of looking at each other as individuals and human beings? Could we use art as a way to understand one another’s perspectives better, replace stereotypes with less generalized and more realistic images and, finally, respect the differences?’ These are fascinating and urgent questions.
“I’m thrilled that Moreshin will visit campus and that the community — including students studying fields outside the arts — will have the opportunity to hear from her and to see the work she’s doing. They could hardly have a more inspiring role model.”