Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture: Morehshin Allahyari

Media artist, activist, educator, and curator Morehshin Allahyari will deliver a Public Lecture Series talk, supported in part through funding from the Office of the Provost: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Allahyari uses computer modeling, 3D scanning, and digital fabrication techniques to explore the intersection of art and activism. Inspired by concepts of collective archiving, memory, and cultural contradiction, Allahyari’s 3D-printed sculptures and videos challenge social and gender norms. “I want my work to respond to, resist, and criticize the current political and cultural situation that we experience on a daily basis,” she explains. She is developing a new body of work on digital colonialism and “re-figuring” as a feminist and de-colonialist practice, titled She Who Sees the Unknown. Researching female monsters, jinn, and dark goddesses of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises narratives through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning, and archiving. Continued development of the project is supported by a joint commission from the Whitney Museum of Art, Liverpool Biennale, and FACT, as well as a 2018 Rhizome Commission.

Allahyari is currently an artist in residence at Pioneer Works in New York. Recent accolades include a research residency at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (2016-17) and a sculpture award from the Institute of Digital Art (2016); Foreign Policy Magazine named her a Leading Global Thinker of 2016. Other outlets featuring her work include Huffington Post, Wired, NPR, National Geographic, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Dazed Digital. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops at venues throughout the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris; Venice Biennale di Archittectura; Pori Museum, Finland; and Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Germany.

Allahyari earned her MFA from the University of North Texas, her MA from the University of Denver, and her BA from the University of Tehran, Iran. She is co-creator of the 3D Additivist Manifesto and subsequent 3D Additivist Cookbook.