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Morehshin Allahyari at UMASS Lowell

  • University Gallery at UMASS Lowell 870 Broadway Street Lowell, MA, 01854 United States (map)

Morehshin Allahyari will give a talk in O'Leary Library room 222 from 4:30-5:30pm. The reception will follow in the University Gallery in Mahoney Hall from 6-8pm. Solid State Mythologies is on view from January 17 - February 28, 2017.

“My work undermines the uneven economics of Western technocolonialism and the performative rhetoric of Islamic fundamentalism, through a ficto-feminist-figural expression of power. I seek to make visible the invisible power relationships emerging from the age of ‘The War On Terror,’ current fashionable acts of cultural reconstruction, and the ownership/ economics of 3D scanned data through a research-based practice and public engagement.” -Morehshin Allahyari

Morehshin Allahyari’s work embraces new media as a means to subvert censorship and present utopian possibilities for cultural production. Allahyari, who is from Iran and moved to Denver in 2007, spent her childhood in a culture that bans dogs, The Simpsons, and statues of the Buddha. Dark Matter provides humorous juxtapositions of such contraband with a series of 3D printed objects including #dog #dildo #satellite-dish. In a similar vein, her project Like Pearls presents an interactive website adapting images and animated GIFs that playfully reveal complex layers of sensuality and religious censorship at the intersection of Iran’s Islamic law and email spam. The works in this exhibition play on the links of power between petrochemicals, war, technocapitalism, and knowledge by advocating use of the Internet and “additive” technology as a means to share history, escape censorship, and envision the future of matter. 

The Material Speculation: ISIS series brings historic sculptures that have been destroyed by fundamentalist men back to life as 3D printed monuments. Fragments of information about the artifacts have been meticulously pieced together into actionable 3D modeling files which are archived on flash drives and memory cards embedded inside the printed objects. They are designed as time capsules, with their own DNA safe from the elements for decades. The online museum Rhizome has picked up where the meatspace museums left off and offers Allahyari’s files free for anyone to download. The plasticity of these reproducible monuments allows them to mutate like memes and continuously renew their cultural power. Her 3D Additivist Manifesto, created in collaboration with Daniel Rourke, puts these new tools for distribution and ideation into a critical and timely context. The manifesto is a call to action and the accompanying downloadable 3D Additivist Cookbook provides data and inspiration to jumpstart a collaborative, productive future. 

-Misha Rabinovich & Caitlin Foley

Earlier Event: February 22
Chie Fueki at MassArt
Later Event: February 22
Rob Wynne at MassArt