Seven Valleys is a collaboration between artists Keyvan Shovir and Lauren Marie Taylor. In works that deal with the architecture of missions, mosques and war, the artists identify links between the colonization of the Americas and the American imperial project in the Middle East. They do so via unexpected themes including Sufi poetry, Catholic ritual and space travel. Seven Valleys will unfold over a one-month residency [March 17-April 21] that will culminate in an exhibition opening on April 6th for Oakland First Fridays.
Join curator Kathy Zarur and artist Dena Al-Adeeb on Saturday, April 7, who will engage the artists and audience in an afternoon that includes an exhibition tour and conversation about the exhibition’s metaphors and motifs. Food and beverages will be provided.
Kathy Zarur is a curator, educator and arts organizer with a focus on the art and growing museum industry in the Middle East. Zarur was Artistic Director of Teaching Art of the Middle East and Islamic World at the de Young and San Francisco State University. Her recent exhibitions include Betweenscapes (with Roula Seikaly, SOMArts, forthcoming), Where Is Here (co-curated with Jacqueline Francis, Museum of the African Diaspora, 2017) and Mashrabiya: The Art of Looking Back (co-curated with Santhi Kavuri-Bauer and San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery, 2017).
Dena Al-Adeeb is an artist, scholar-activist, and a mama born in Baghdad, Iraq. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department, Culture and Representation track at New York University. Her work has been exhibited internationally at such places as the Arab American National Museum, Museum of Tunisia, Museum of Latin American Art, The National Veterans Art Museum, Light Work Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, Worth Ryder Gallery at the University of California-Berkeley, MECA at Mana Contemporary, OFF Biennale Cairo, Art 13: London: Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, Darb 1718, Falaki Gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Espcase Karim Francis Gallery, Bastakiya Art Fair, Galerie le Violon Bleu, among others. Her work has been published in Ibraaz, Contemptorary, Light Work, Contemporary Practices Journal, Journal of Middle East Women s Studies, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War Anthology, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, The Color of Violence Anthology, Kritiker Literary, HYSTERIA, Jadaliyya, Art Dubai Journal, among others.
Keyvan Shovir is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary artist. He was born in 1985 in Tehran, Iran and moved to San Francisco in 2011 to escape political persecution for his art. He has widely exhibited and presented his work in the United States, Iran, Turkey, England, Italy, Sweden and Dubai. Shovir was a pioneer of street art in Tehran, focusing on social issues and Persian calligraphy. He is primarily known for his work in installation and public art which explores history and Persian myth, language and today’s pop culture.
Lauren Marie Taylor is a Bay Area artist and educator. In 2013 she was the first Artist in Residence at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, from which the first message was sent to outer space. In 2015 she was an Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, where she worked with the Vatican Astronomical Observatory. Recent projects include collaborative work on the Man in Space Collection at the Walt Disney Family Museum, Satellite Engineering at California Academy of Sciences, Workshops for BAN 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and a solo exhibition at Southern Exposure on science fiction and robotics in the Civil Rights Era. Taylor has presented at the Octavia Butler Conference, Science in the Studio Symposium for AICAD, the Bay Area Science Festival, Nerd Nite, Stairwells and more.