PUBLIC PANEL: Material Speculation, Between ISIS and Islamophobia


Location: Urban Space Gallery, 1st floor 401 Richmond St. W. (right beside suite #121)

Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 2:00 – 5:00pm

On the occasion of Morehshin Allahyari’s solo exhibition: Material Speculation at Trinity Square Video, we are pleased to invite you to a public panel with the artist, in discussion with art historian and critic Pamela Karimi, and researcher and writer Dina Georgis. The panel will discuss their research in relationship to Allahyari’s work, Material Speculation: ISIS, a digital fabrication and 3D printing project focused on the reconstruction of selected artifacts that were destroyed by ISIS in 2015.

Situated in the political, social and cultural web of relations that Material Speculation proposes—from petropolitics, war, conflict materials, and terrorism—the panel explicitly challenges potentially polarizing and Islamophobic responses to the work, while probing its aesthetic, radical and complicated insights. The goal is to offer artistic contexts and theoretical readings of the exhibition while tying it to contemporary events of war, terrorism and the material/political worlds it implicates

Morehshin Allahyari uses artistic production to investigate the complicated intersection between technology and politics. Born and raised in Iran, she has been living in the United States since 2007. Her practice examines the gendered, cultural, ethical, and political dimensions of digital spaces and materiality, using technology as both a philosophical and poetic toolset to think through objecthood, and to document the personal and collective struggles of contemporary human experiences. Allahyari has been widely exhibited internationally and has been an artist in residence at CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (2015), Autodesk Pier9 Workshop in San Francisco (2015), and The Banff Centre (2013), among others. Her work has been featured in Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Animal New York, Art F City, Creators Project, Dazed Digital, Huffington Post, NPR, VICE, Parkett Art Magazine, Neural Magazine, Global Voices Online, Al Jazeera, and BBC among others.

Pamela Karimi received her PhD in History, Theory & Criticism of Art and Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. She is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the author of Domesticity and Consumer Culture in Iran (Routledge, 2013) and co-editor of Images of the Child and Childhood in Modern Muslim Contexts (Duke, 2012). Her essays and reviews about the modern and contemporary art of the Middle East have appeared in ArtMargins, Jadaliyya, Art Journal, Bidoun, Honar-e Farda, and the Arab Studies Journal, among others. She has held fellowships from Iran Heritage Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the American Association of University Women, and the Society of Architectural Historians. Co-founder of Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative and a former member of the editorial team of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Karimi also serves on the board of the Association of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey. At present she is working on her second monograph, Designing Dissidence: The Creative Enterprise and Alternative Spaces of Imagination in Iran, which explores the spatial dimensions of the “underground” in Iran.

Dina Georgis is an Associate Professor at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her work is situated in the fields of postcolonial and sexuality studies. She draws on psychoanalytic concepts to think through how expressive and political cultures are responses to the affective remains of the past. Her book, The Better Story: Queer Affects from the Middle East (SUNY, 2013) considers the emotional dynamics of political conflict, the stories and subjectivities they produce, and what it means to make an ethical relationship to conflict. Georgis teaches in the areas of cultural studies, postcolonial studies, trauma and war, feminist theory and queer studies.

Image: Morehshin Allahyari, Material Speculation: ISIS, Ebu, 2015


For more information on the exhibition Morehshin Allahyari – Material Speculation, please visit: