Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
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    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
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    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
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    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • Renee Gladman

    Oct 19| Lectures
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    Renee Gladman is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, including the Ravicka triology, published by Dorothy (Event Factory, The Ravickians, and Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge). Other titles include Arlem, Not Right Now, Juice The Activist, A Picture Feeling, and Newcomer Can't Swim. Since 2004, she has been the publisher of Leon Works, a perfect bound series of books of experimental prose, and also has edited the Leroy chapbook series.

O-Tube

Marjan Vayghan '06 Fine Arts

Dec 16, 2013
Contemporary art in Tehran
Spotlight Category: Alumni
After graduating from Otis, I packed four suitcases, two carry-ons and a computer bag full of art, and traveled to MOCA Tehran in 2007 to curate “Manifestation of Contemporary Arts in Iran.” The exhibition featured works from 67 Iranian and American artists, including Chair of Graduate Public Practice Suzanne Lacy, Masami Teraoka (’68 MFA), Co-founding Director of Artsts, Community and Teaching program Jerri Allyn, and honorary degree recipient Bill Viola. Former Prime Minister and reformist politician Mir Hossein Mosavi’s name appeared in the exhibition catalogue.
 
During the Green Revolution, I returned to Iran to curate a solo exhibition of Masami Teraoka’s watercolors. On August 5, 2009, my partner and I took a cab towards the gallery. Police presence mushroomed on Vanak Square as forces on foot, motorcycles, and vans lined the street. Suddenly I was pulled out of our cab while a man foaming from the mouth lunged his upper body into the moving taxi. Arrested, blindfolded and hooded, we were interrogated into the early hours of August 6. On August 7, I attended my first childhood friend’s funeral, where his mother grabbed my inner knee, pleading for her son. Speechless, I disconnected from all I knew. I didn’t leave my aunt’s home again until August 18, when I was assaulted by two men on a motorcycle. My cries were quickly silenced, as I was informed that it is unladylike to cry in public. My only remaining impulse was a need to articulate creatively.
 
On August 29, I opened Masami Teraoka’s solo exhibition. Everything I had to say about the taboo topics of globalization, Westernization, sanctions, fundamentalism, HIV, prostitution, and the trafficking of young girls as Iran’s biggest export could be found in Masami’s controversially bold paintings. Masami’s work embraced and visualized the aesthetics of the green movement in a complex subversive plateau just beneath the governing factions of the Islamic Republic’s radar of genocide and oppression. The paintings were done in the 1970s with traditional Japanese brushstrokes but they were perfect for the “Jumong”-obsessed Tehran of 2009. The 2009 uprising was inspired more by “Jumong” (an extremely popular South Korean soap opera) than by Mir Hossein Mousavi.
 
These days I find myself working on the two time zones of Tehran and Los Angeles. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm bears a plethora of emails, and an endless search for regular curating and writing gigs to support my many art and activism obsessions. 10:00 pm - 5:00 am is spent curating and organizing Rooftop Projections and Exhibits throughout Iran. Updates from family members and friends include: “Grandma was hit by a motorcyclist. Grandpa is losing his sight and memories. You shouldn’t come back to Iran this summer. Strangers are coming by the gallery and asking for you.” I continue shifting my consciousness towards collecting subversive literature and art for our Rooftop Exhibits. 
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