Exhibition at UNT on the Square highlights dysfunction in Iran-U.S. cultural exchange
What: Your Night/My Day, an ongoing online and digital collaborative art project between artists in Iran and the U.S.
When/Where: March 20 (Wednesday) through April 3 (Wednesday) at UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St. on the square in downtown Denton. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours to 8 p.m. on Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
- A panel discussion with four of the artists will be held from 10:45 a.m. to noon March 22 (Friday) at the UNT Peace Conference: The Middle East, A New Era? in the Gateway Conference Center. The panel will be chaired by Dr. Nada Shabout, associate professor of art history and director of The Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute.
- Gallery reception will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 22 (Friday) at UNT on the Square. The reception is sponsored by the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts and the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute.
An exhibition that highlights the dysfunctional nature of cultural exchange between Iran and the United States will be on display March 20 at UNT on the Square, brought to the University of North Texas by the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute.
Your Night/My Day is an online and digital intercultural collaborative art project between artists in Iran and the U.S., which began in fall 2010. Curated by UNT Adjunct Professor Morehshin Allahyari and Chicago-based artist Eden Ünlüata, this project explores the process of cultural exchange – or lack thereof – between Iran and the United States. The project employs digital media and online collaboration and serves as a bridge to create an intercultural dialogue and exhibition.
The art for the exhibition is based on a series of invitations, called “Inspiration Notes,” from the curators. The notes feature topics that are commonly referenced in discussions about culture. Through the notes, teams in each country write instructions in their native language for the opposite team to perform and document. However, before the opposite team receives the instructions, they are sent electronically through an artist/editor from Turkey, who puts them through Google Translate and edits them. The translated works then follow the same path back with the Turkish artist editing the artwork at will.
Using this multi-part series, the artists decipher and depict the nature of the dysfunctional dialogue between Iranian and American cultures.
“Through art, we are seeking to find paths that may lead to a better understanding of each other as human beings,” said Allahyari.
The exhibition, held in conjunction with the UNT Peace Conference, includes a two-year collection of pieces designed to celebrate cultural differences and find harmony through art. Participating artists are UNT graduate student Andrew Blanton; Iranian artist Negin Ehtesabian; Turkish artist Zeren Göktan; Patrick Lichty, assistant professor of interactive arts and media at Chicago’s Columbia College; Iranian artist Vana Nabipour and Los Angeles-based artist Allie Pohl.
About The Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute
The Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI) is an interdisciplinary institute composed of faculty drawn from the visual arts, social sciences and humanities at the University of North Texas. CAMCSI serves UNT as the coordinating body and the primary source of support for the various courses and academic programs that cover the Arab and Muslim worlds, which include the Arab states of Iran, Turkey, central and south Asia and other parts of the world with Muslim communities.