Misplaced Oblivion: Art Archiving in Iran
A presentation by Kimia Maleki in conversation with Dr. Nora A. Taylor on the state of Art Archiving in Iran. What will remain of Iranian contemporary art if Iran goes to war? If the museums and art objects currently chosen to be protected are not representative of Iranian contemporary art, how will our understanding of Iran’s art be formed? Inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, national archives and private galleries were initiated, partially to preserve historical material, yet many documents are still excluded. Iranian contemporary art suffers from a lack of institutional support and a lack of archives that have authority, physical space, and sustained support. Ideally archives should be both transparent and protected, accessible and preserved, but archives like this do not yet exist in Iran. What is the way forward?
Kimia Maleki (M.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, B.A., University of the Arts, Tehran) is interested in historiography, archiving, and curatorial practice, especially as pertains to Iran. During her undergraduate studies, she created the first comprehensive art students magazine (Gahname Honar), and, more recently, she completed an M.A. thesis entitled “State of Art Archiving in Iran: Now & Then.” She curated an exhibition at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago titled “Islamic Art at the Art Institute: A Century of Exhibitions and Acquisitions,” 2016, and “Sedentary Fragmentation,” 2017 in Heaven Gallery.
Dr. Nora A. Taylor is the Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii and Singapore Press, 2004 and 2009) and coeditor of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Anthology (Cornell SEAP Press, 2012) as well as numerous articles on modern and contemporary Vietnamese and Southeast Asian art. She was also curator of Breathing is Free: 12 756.3 Recent Work by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba at SAIC and a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Image caption: Due to the fast pace of urban redevelopment in Tehran, private libraries are often discarded and recycled. Photo by Kimia Maleki, 2012.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.