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Artists in Exile

Arario Gallery
521 West 25th street, 212-206-2760
January 24 - February 22, 2009
Reception: Saturday, January 24, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Arario Gallery New York presents Artists in Exile, a group exhibition of works by artists of South East Asian, Middle Eastern, or Indian descent that reside in New York City. The exhibition will be on view in the main galleries from January 24 through February 22, 2009. A reception for the artists will be held at the gallery on January 24 from 6 to 8pm.

“Exile” has been defined in history as being away from one’s home of birth or origin. In Greek tragedies, to wander away from home meant being exposed without protection from familiar laws, friends and family, and was seen as a fate worse than death. The artists in this exhibition bridge their cultural heritage with their country of residence; they cross reference, reinterpret and integrate cultures to express the myriad of experiences brought about by diaspora. Artists in Exile includes works by Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Mariam Ghani, Pooneh Maghazehe, Sara Rahbar, The Shining Mantis (Ernest Concepion and Mike Estabrook), and Sonali Sridhar and Mouna Andraos.

Samira Abbassy, born in Ahwaz, Iran and raised in Britain, draws on Persian and Indian miniature painting traditions, as well as outsider art. Painting on wood, she tells the story of a Shar in several unique panels that audiences will be encouraged to rearrange. Abbassy’s work suggests the malleability of history by individuals and groups from one location, or context, to another.

Jaishri Abichandani reflects her identity as a feminist South Asian American artist in works that explore the relationship between individual and collective selves and the effect of those relationships on society. For Artists in Exile Abichandani will create a site-specific wall installation called Roe vs. Wade, using, among other materials, Swarovski crystals and whips.

Mariam Ghan is an American artist of Afghani descent. Her multi-disciplinary work ranges from video and installation to photography and public dialogue. Her video Kabul 2, 3, 4 uses a documentary style to show the transformations that take place as a result of turmoil, particularly in Kabul. The footage was shot during the artist’s visits in 2002, 2004 and 2007.

Pooneh Maghazehe, born in the United States, is the first generation of a Shiite Muslim family of Iranian descent to be born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She uses the Amish dress as both a starting point and analogy for the veil in Iran, a combination of cultural iconographies that “exemplify a narcissistic pledge of allegiance to subcultures that I have espoused.” Four Amish dresses with embroidery, rhinestones and other embellishments will be included in this exhibition.

Sara Rahbar, born in Tehran, Iran, fled her birthplace as a result of the revolution in Iran and the start of the Iran-Iraq War. She says, “Being born in Iran and raised in America and feeling no attachment towards either country, and rather seeing myself as boarder-less and without nationality, race or religion, I question and re-question my identity and my individualism.“ Artists in Exile will include the artist’s celebrated textiles that morph the United States and Iranian flags to challenge concepts of territory, nationalism and patriotism.

Mike Estabrook and Ernest Concepción of the New York-based collective The Shining Mantis began collaborating in 2006. Their Kangarok series—spontaneous chalk-on-black wall drawings—are created by “wars” in which each Estabrook and Concepción “artistically attack” each other’s individual drawings. The duo will create their sixth site-specific work in the series for Artist in Exile.

Mouna Andraos and Sonali Sridhar have collaborated for over three years on various projects. Their 2007 piece Address, a silvnd wood necklace with a GPS medallion, evokes the personal connection of jewelry to place. A computer near its display will prompt visitors to enter a home address, or a place they consider to be their anchor. The electronic medallion will in response display the distance from the user’s home to Arario Gallery New York.

Exhibition history and biographies for each artist are available upon request.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-8725 to see them here.