CrossConnections is a residency project at the CCA Center for Art and Public Life with visiting artist Taraneh Hemami with visiting scholar Persis Karim. The project engages Iranian and Iranian American artists and writers in an intergenerational, creative dialogue about issues of cultural identity, preservation, and representation in a transcultural and transnational context. CrossConnections also explores the diverse local and global influences that contribute to unite or divide cultures and examines the contemporary realities of Iranian Americans in the wake of dramatic shifts in American culture following the tragedy of 9/11.
Participating artists and writers:
Azin Arefi, Naseem Badiey, Ali Dadgar, Ala Ebtekar, Mahru Elahi, Iranshid Ghadimi, Haleh Hatami, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Afshean Hessam, Mokhtar Paki, Fariba Safai, Farnoosh Seifoddini, Roham Sheikhani, Nazanin H. Shenasa, Bijan Yashar, Termeh Yeghiazarian, Shadi Yousefian.
Oliver Art Center, Oakland, CA
Closing Reception: Sunday June 19, 4-7 pm
with readings and performances by the participating writers and special guests Robert Karimi and Sote.
Reflecting on their past and present experiences, participating Iranian and Iranian-American artists offer a portrait of the Iranian experience in the United States through personal, collective, and collaborative projects in the visual, literary, and performing arts. The exhibition rePresent is the second public presentation of this group. It follows of past and present, held on May 1, 2005, at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. CrossConnections will continue to offer public presentations involving artists and writers in experimental collaboration throughout the 2005–06 academic year.
rePresent brings together several elements that focus on time, place, and history. The Wall of History, a historical timeline comprising important social and political events, is the conceptual anchor of the installation, utilizing movements and moments as the basis for personal memory and artistic response. Audience members are invited to participate by adding personal memories, media clips, and objects to the evolving collective portrait of time and place. The installation is complemented by a layer of personal stories of the Bay Area Iranian community through a new presentation of Hall of Reflections, a collective art project created by Taraneh Hemami. Hall of Reflections presents images and remembrances of the Bay Area Iranian-American community through family photographs and text documenting and memorializing the journey of Iranians to this country.
Turning to the present time, 14 Days is a collaborative work-in-progress installation in which CrossConnections participants respond to local Bay Area news as well as news from the Iranian media each day of the exhibition. The artists explore “translations” of the cultural and political while looking at self and community. The completed installation will be featured at the closing reception on June 19, with readings and performances by the participating writers and special guests Robert Karimi and Sote.
The Center for Art and Public Life is an integral part of California College of the Arts, dedicated to creating community partnerships that serve the college and the diverse populations of the Bay Area. The CrossConnections project is made possible by generous support from the Christensen Fund.