Featured in the launch issue of The Enemy: Under Contemporary Art's Vitrine
About The Enemy
The Enemy is a triannual online journal that invites writers, artists, thinkers, and activists to present essays and projects outside the mainstreams of their own practices and disciplines. More of an exquisite corpse than an issue-based publication, The Enemy hopes to juxtapose established scholars with new voices, and to include known figures alongside students, intellectuals, and polemicists of all stripes. The goal is for our readers to encounter positions that run countercurrent to popular discourse, and for each contributor to operate outside of her or his expected modes of expression. The project is an experiment in framing thought beyond familiar journalistic, artistic, and academic marketplaces—and although this may not be possible, The Enemy is, and will seek to remain, free and untethered by commercial support or institutional expectations.
Under Contemporary Art’s Vitrine
Last September, a curator from Tel Aviv contacted me about including my work in an exhibition opening in Tel Aviv, and possibly Berlin and Los Angeles “about contemporary art from Iran and Syria”. “There is such a gap between our cultures, even when we are so close and related in many ways,” he wrote in his email. We met in person after exchanging a few more emails, where I expressed my skepticism about my participation in this exhibition. My reluctance was in part because it sounded to me like yet another attempted curation that pigeonholed identity in the name of exhibiting something “provocative.” I also felt that my commitment to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel1could present a problem. In our short meeting he mentioned the names of a few potential participants in the show, a predictable list of self-exotifying, self-orientalizing auction stars, most of them women with photographic practices that I had criticized previously in my writings.2 continue reading
The Flirtatious Pirouette of the Artist Around His Subject [sic]
Neely Macomber Travel Award 2012
Roski Gallery at USC, Los Angeles, CA
The U.S. embassy in Iran used strip-cut paper shredders to reduce paper pages to strips before the embassy was taken over in 1979 (though not entirely successfully). After Colonel Oliver North told Congress that he used a Schleicher Intimus 007 S cross-cut model to shred Iran-Contra documents, sales for that company increased nearly 20 percent in 1987.
AIRGRAMS 000-0IV: IN, T, I, M, US, INTIMUS is a series of books that are reproductions of the pdf’s of these shredded documents once found at the former U.S. Embassy in Iran upon its occupation by the “Revolutionary Students” in 1979.