Mn Artists Presents: [Your Name Here]

Mn Artists Presents: CarryOn Homes

August 29, 2019

How and why do we learn the way we do? CarryOn Homes invites local artists who have experienced immigration or emigration to the Walker Art Center, in order to explore questions about how institutional education systems shape us and discover possible paths for reeducation. By observing the way different cultures relate to public spaces and education, this project asks what actions can be taken to subvert assumed dynamics and reveal hidden histories. For this one-night event, the halls of the museum will be converted into an experimental classroom for artists to engage and share resources with guests.

About the curators:

CarryOn Homes is a group of five artists from five countries: Zoe Cinel (Italy), Preston Drum (USA), Aki Shibata (Japan), Peng Wu (China), Shunjie Yong (Malaysia), united by a drive to raise awareness of social issues through the creation of artworks. This diverse group of individual artists were brought together by their mutual association with designer Peng Wu and photographer Shunjie Yong, who were creating a documentary photography series about immigrants in Minnesota. With the introduction of behavioral artist Aki Shibata, multi-media artist Zoe Cinel and installation artist Preston Drum, the team was tasked with expanding the scope of what CarryOn Homes could be and began to develop interactive installations. The group won the Creative City Challenge in 2018 and created a multifaceted public artwork at The Commons Park in downtown Minneapolis, MN. While each member of the group maintains an active solo practice, they continue to make artworks as a group and advocate for social issues.

Artists & projects:

Donkeyfull Mind

Nooshin Hakim Javadi and Pedram Baldari

This work is a social study/performance art inspired by a story of an Iranian scholar, Al Ghazali, in the 12th century. In this story, he is traveling with a caravan from Neyshabur, where he studied at the university for many years, back to Tus, his hometown. Bandits stop their caravan and ask for everything. When they come to Ghazali, who has a donkey loaded with bags, he starts crying and begging them to take everything, but leave the bags alone. When they open the bags, they see lots of papers and notes. “What are these that are so important to you?These are bunch of papers,” they say. He answers, “This is all of my knowledge on the back of this donkey. Without them, I will go back to zero!” The leader of the bandits says, “Then what is the difference between this donkey and you, both carrying papers around, while both of your minds are worth nothing?” In one of his lectures, Ghazali refers to this bandit as his greatest teacher, and the reason he became a great scholar–rather than the education he had in university.

A Physical Study of the Education of Art #2

Pedram Baldari with Nooshin Hakim Javadi

Video by Pedram Baldari, featuring Nooshin Hakim, in which she is dragged and pushed on a concrete floor in a joint effort to write, “I am the Artist.” In this video, Baldari is aiming to create a situation that is puzzling, controversial and disorienting. Who is holding the brush in this work? Who decides what to do, when to do it, and how to do it? Is the performer on the floor just an extension of the brush? These actions symbolize Baldari’s ongoing questions about art education, in which we are creating artists by basically choreographing bodies and minds in an institutional manner, magnifying what it is to become an artist.

Pedram Baldari is a Kurdish-Iranian born sculptor, architect and interdisciplinary artist, working in installation, site-specific and performance art. He has been featured in numerous national and international art exhibitions since 2010, for example: a solo exhibition in Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2012), Documenta 13 Video Import-Export program, Video Nomad Tokyo (2015), Art Basel Basel Switzerland (2014). He has been selected for art residencies across the world and has had group art exhibitions internationally in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, and the U.S. He was recently an artist fellow at the Target Studio of the Weisman Museum, UMN, where in collaboration with Nooshin Hakim, they worked to realize Radio Rhizome, and worked as an assistant professor at the Art Department, UMN.

Nooshin Hakim Javadi, born in Qazvin, Iran, is a performative sculptor currently based in Minneapolis, MN as teaching faculty at the University of Minnesota. She received her BFA from the Tehran University and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. She is currently artist fellow of Weisman Museum of Art. She is the recipient of outstanding student achievement in contemporary sculpture award from Sculpture magazine and a Jerome Fellowship from Franconia Sculpture Park. Hakim has shown nationally and internationally in Iran, Germany, and the United States. She had exhibitions at the Museum fur Neue Kunst in Freiburg, Germany, Open Museum Night (Muka Night) in Karlsruhe, Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim in Germany, and Eine Kunstausstellung in Schwarzwald, a two-person show with Chris Larson at the Washburn Lofts in Minneapolis, Minnesota Museum of American Art, and in Grounds for Sculpture. Some of her upcoming exhibitions will be in the South Dakota Museum of Art and the Plains Museum. Lined within her work are reflections of social environments and the border and gaps expressed through installation and performance. She likes to explore the space between the body and the space within and around that body. At the root of her work are socio-political issues, which are in constant flux.

precedent [pri-seed-nt, pres-i-duh nt]

Valerie Oliveiro, performed by Sam Johnson, Valerie Oliveiro, and Chitra Vairavan

what is that about what we already know? what is it about how we have learned what we know that helps us navigate the space of the unprecedented? is it really unprecedented? how to we hold the vast space of this unknown and survive its girth?

Valerie Oliveiro presents an aspect (scores, movement material) of some initial research for her next project.

Valerie Oliveiro is an artist born in Singapore and based in Minneapolis, MN. Some generally accepted title descriptions of her work include being a director/choreographer, performer, designer, photographer and manager. Most recently she has performed in projects by Jennifer Monson (Live Dancing Archive, In Tow), Morgan Thorson (Still Life, Public Love), Rosy Simas (Weave) and Bouchra Ouizguen (Corbeaux).  She also recently lit Parking Ramp Project by Pramila Vasudevan (September 2018) and Yam, Potatoe an Fish! by Alanna Morris Van-Tassel (October 2018). Her photographic work has been shown at Indigo (Champaign, IL), the University YWCA (Urbana, IL). Schneider Gallery (Chicago, IL), OBJECTIFS (Singapore), Murmur Gallery (Atlanta, GA) and Red Eye Theater (Minneapolis, MN). She is one of seven artistic directors of Red Eye Theater. Her own evening-length work THE STANDARD. premiered as part of Red Eye’s New Works 4 Weeks Festival in June 2019.

Coded Kinship: in traditions of Rhyme Patterns, Cross Stitches and Melodies.

Tou SaiK Lee, with musicians Vang Lor Yang, Wangsue Lee, and Koobmeej Lor Lee of Qaib Dib Qeej

This intergenerational presentation of cultural instruments will include elders playing the Hmong flute, violin and mouth harp, along with youth showcasing the qeej in collaboration with a hip hop flow. The performers will reveal messages, meaning and history of coded ways in creative communication that have compelled the continuation of a culture through storytelling. The symbols of Hmong tapestries will also be decoded and displayed through projected images.

Tou SaiK Lee was born in Nong Kai refugee camp in Thailand, grew up in Syracuse, NY, and has lived most his life in the Twin Cities. Lee is a writer, spoken word poet, storyteller and a hip hop artist. He is releasing his first Hmong language hip hop album titled Ntiaj Teb Koom Tes, which translates to Unified Worldwide, in 2019. Tou SaiK is writing a memoir about his and his grandmother’s collaboration to honor her passing, titled My Grandma Can Freestyle.