HAFT PAYKAR | SEVEN BEAUTIES, curated with Tooraj Khamenehzadeh
Haft Paykar | Seven Beauties is a group exhibition that revives, explores, and shares an ancient Persian text through an exercise in reception theory. This cultural theory fosters the idea that the meaning of any text is never fixed or transparent, rather shaped by a number of contributing factors by both the producer, who encodes a text with meaning, and the recipient, who decodes it. Interpretation is further shaped by distribution, personal experience, social circumstance, distance, and time.
We selected a 12th century poem as the starting point for participating artists and audiences to interpret and produce meaning. Haft Paykar was written by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, better known as Nizami, in 1197. It incorporates themes of exploitation, ambiguity, beauty, symbolism, multiculturalism, and self-actualization through various literary devices, including non-linearity and epic storytelling. A key component is the assemblage of the seven beauties, or seven brides, who are summoned by the story’s protagonist, a heroic prince. Each beauty originates from a different region of the world and is represented by a different color, day of the week, and planet, which correspond to her mood and shape her character.
Seven female artists were chosen, who originate from same the seven regions, or ‘climes’, represented in the poem: Naiza Khan (Pakistan), Cui Fei (China), Anna Khodorkovskaya (Khwarazm/Russia), Neža Knez (Siqlab/Slovenia), Nicène Kossentini (the Magreb/Tunisia), Nina Papaconstantinou (Rum/Greece), and Negin Mahzoun (Persia/Iran). Excerpts from the poem were used as a prompt for a new work that illustrates their interpretations and exercise in meaning-making. The results represent a wide range of creative approaches, media, and interpretations to bring the ancient poem into a contemporary context. Plays with form, materials, scale, aspects of time and space, language, metaphor, memory, geographies, and identity draw out, contemplate, and interrogate various aspects of the original text.
May 17-June 7, 2019 at Mohsen Gallery, Tehran
March 5–27, 2015
Made in NY Media Center by IFP
30 John Street | Brooklyn, New York, 11201
Images (L to R): Dana Miller, A Theory of All Things #2455 (2012); Kimberly Witham, Still Life with Watermelon and Chipmunk (2011); Caryn Cline, still from Left Side, Riverside (2011); Erica Magrey, screenshot from Face, Porthole, Window, Glovebox (2013)
With the ability to extend sight, memory, and interaction, our media tools foster a naturally synthetic hub through which nature and experience are visualized, made accessible, and become normalized, achieving something that feels naturally synthetic.
The artists selected for this group show make subtle use of their chosen medium to capture and construct synthetic environments that serve to analyze or question things like humanity, what it means to be alive, and under what conditions can fantasy and reality become enmeshed.
THE LOUNGE curated with Caterina Mallone | May 12–26, 2010 | NoCommercialValue.org
Featuring work by Amy Casey, Greg Fenton, Brian Knauer, Erica Magrey, Hollis B. Thornton, and Ann Toebbe.
SHARED SPACES | April 22-28, 2009 | NoCommercialValue.org
Featuring work by Blu, Burak Arikan, Char Davies, Erin Gleeson, Melissa Grey, and Yasmine Soiffer.
IMPERMANENCE curated with Caterina Mallone & Tanisha Christie | Sept. 27, 2008 | La Lutta Project Space
RECLAIM: THE VISUAL SPACE IN BETWEEN curated with Caterina Mallone | July 19, 2008 | Supreme Trading
ACTIVITIES + SERVICE
2016–present: Editorial board of Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy
2019: KARA Artist Talk with Haffendi Anuar, Rafael Cañete, Sarah Feuillas, and Laure Catugier, Tuesday, May 28 @ 7pm, Darbast Platform, Tehran, Iran.
2019: Curators Panel Discussion of Haft Paykar | Seven Beauties with Tooraj Khamenehzadeh and Behrang Samadzadegan, Tuesday, May 21 @ 7pm, Darbast Platform, Tehran, Iran.
2016: Researcher in Residence, Signal Culture, Owego, NY
2015: SVA Art in the First Person Series: The Vanishing Points of Treece, a lecture and conversation about my book Vanishing Points with photographer Dina Kantor.
2014–2017: Computer Culture Area Chair, Southwest Popular/American Culture annual conference.
2014: Professional participant, Tisch School of the Arts Annual Film and TV Meet and Greet.
2012–present: Member, New Media Caucus
2010: Honorary Member for Excellence in Teaching, Alpha Lambda Delta First-Year Honor Society, Ramapo College of NJ.