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Taraneh Hemami: Theory of Survival- Department of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series

University of Oregon
Department of Art Lecture Series

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Lawrence Hall Room 115
1190 Franklin Boulevard

Taraneh Hemami: Theory of Survival

Taraneh Hemami (BFA ‘81) multi-dimensional work explores themes of displacement, preservation, and representation. Examining the careful crafting of images as propagated for power and political gain, her recent handcrafted replications of historical archives serve as commemoratives to events, places and people, while commenting on tools of manipulation and persuasion used across nations and histories. Hemami’s collective and curatorial projects create connections through experimental projects between artists, writers and scholars, while promoting and provoking dialog as part of their process and presentation, to explore various topics from martyrdom to the reflections of the everyday. She is the recipient of a Creative Work Fund, a Visions for the New California, Kala Fellowship, a Eureka Fellowship Award, Center for Cultural Innovation’s Artistic Innovation Award, a Creative Capital grant and Individual Artist Awards from the San Francisco Arts Commission. She currently teaches at the California College of the Arts.

Theory of Survival has collected historical archives from local communities and the web through residencies and collective actions since 2007. The collections include decades of otherwise banned and censored print matter belonging to the Iranian Students Association of Northern California active from 1964-1984, that reflect the political sensibilities of the Iranian student organizations worldwide in books, periodicals, newspapers, analytical essays, theoretical discourse, and translations, published both inside and outside of Iran. Theory of Survival is presented as an evolving laboratory for creative exchange and collaborations as residencies in educational and cultural institutions, as well as public exhibition spaces. The project invites audiences to become active participants engaging with the material production of the layered archive of these politically critical years- between the CIA coup détat to the aftermath of the Iranian revolution.

Headhot caption- Photo credit: Tommy Lau

Image caption- Blood Curtain, 2013, from the Theory of Survival fabrications-
3-layer beaded curtain with 8mm faceted beads, thread, stainless steel,
64 x 5 x 94 inches. Photo credit/: Jay Jones