Middle East Studies

Heretical Dervish: Photos from Ritual Performances and Unauthorized Actions with artist Amitis Motevalli

Amitis Motevalli Heretical Dervish

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

5:00-6:00 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum (155), 111 Thayer

Reception to follow.

Artist talk with Amitis Motevalli, Spring 2024 resident artist in Gender, Body Politics and Iranian Art.
An exhibit of Motevalli's photos from "Ritual Performances and Unauthorized Actions" will run from April 24-May 8, 2024 at the Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street, 2nd floor. 

Clips of Ritual Performances and Unauthorized Actions


About the Artist

Amitis Motevalli is an artist born in Iran. She explores the cultural resistance and survival of people living in poverty, conflict and/or war. Her experiences as a trans-national migrant and community organizing are foundational in her work and research. Through many media, digital, analog, static and live, her work juxtaposes and contrasts iconography with iconoclasm, memorials with monuments, archive methodologies with canon. Her work intends to ask questions about archiving, documentation and canonization of histories, in particular related to violence. In this line of questioning she subverts populism by invoking the significance of a secular grassroots struggle. She is equally known for her work in Educational Justice, working with youth and communities to gain equal access to civil rights, privacy and pedagogy without profiling. Motevalli was the visionary and director of the LA/Islam Arts initiative, a city wide series of exhibitions and programs. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including Creative Capital Individual Artist, Danish Individual Visiting Artists and the subject of multiple scholarly articles and publications. She is primarily based in Los Angeles, exhibiting art internationally as well as organizing to create an active and critical cultural discourse through information exchange—either in art or pedagogy— with cultural producers and educators.