Art, Social Space, and Public Discourse is a new initiative on Iranian art that investigates the multiple contexts that shift and define changing ideas of Iranian public space.
Led by artist and Stanford lecturer, Ala Ebtekar, this ongoing critical framework of conversations, newly issued art projects, and exploration of various cultural productions and intellectual traditions looks at recent transformations of Iranian civic life and asks what may constitute the architecture, images, and people that shape multiple notions of a “public” Iran. This initiative is also supported by various Stanford departments and programs.
Horizon to Horizon
Artist and lecturer Ala Ebtekar recently curated an art project, titled “Horizon to Horizon,” between East Palo Alto high school students and students in Khorramabad, Iran. A series of workshops by artist Minoosh Zomorodinia and instructor Tara Goodarzy put students in contact with each other (via Skype and Telegram) as they produced works in parallel with one another. The performative work based on this project will be displayed at the next symposium in 2019.
Videos and more information coming soon.
New class on Space and Public Discourse in Iran
Ala Ebtekar co-taught a new class with Jerome Reyes, “Revolutionary Practices: Space and Public Discourse in Iran.” The course examined the mediums of public art that have been voices of social change, protest and expressions of community desire in Iran. It offered a unique glimpse into Iran’s contemporary art and visual culture through the investigation of public art practices such as graffiti and street art, as well as older traditions of Naghali and Iranian Coffeehouse Painting.
First Symposium: Art, Social Space and Public Discourse in Iran
This first series in this initiative, Art, Social Space and Public Discourse in Iran was envisioned and directed by artist Ala Ebtekar. The three-day symposium in November 2016 included talks, panels, newly issued art projects, and lecture performances. The opening ceremony took place at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on November 3rd with a live-stream from Tomorrow, a traditional coffeehouse in Tehran, Iran. The symposium site shifted to Stanford University on November 4th and 5th continuing the momentum with a series of talks, panels, and additional performances. Simultaneously during the main symposia, auxiliary events and commissioned public artworks took place across the Stanford campus and the Bay Area.
Image: shared art space at Stanford used for the first symposium in 2016. Professor Ebtekar pictured with student.