I create for social justice and work with marginalized communities againts structural violencemore.

Current Projects:
Healing Mashine
Poetic Societies
Iranian American Museum (IAM)

Audio, Telepresence, Performance, CuratorialEducational 



Iranian American Museum (IAM), 2019 

Founding director | The US | October 2018-Present
The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit celebrates the histories, arts, cultures, and contributions of Iranians to the United States through innovative, inclusive, equitable, and diverse modes of community organization and cross-cultural participation. IAM’s visual identity and website are designed by Building 417.

Poetic Societies

Founding director | Global | September 6, 2017-Present
Poetic Societies is a nonprofit curatorial and performance lab for practicing poetic-living and shaping transnational celebratory memories as a response to the pressing issues of our time. It produces culturally sensitive, cutting-edge social arts and entrepreneurship projects that connect the unrecognized narratives and practices among the world's peripheries. Residents use networked technologies to create multilocational and multimedia spaces that challenge the conventional notions of connection, translation, and participation and object the suppressive practices of belonging, ownership, organization, and development.


This is just an Image

Co-curator with Lila Nazemian | Exhibition, Public Program, Residency | Eastern Market, Detroit | July 19, 2015
The duo exhibition presented works by Sara Ouhaddou and Peyman Shafeezadeh the residents of Culturunners project in Detroit hosted by the RedBull House for the Arts. A public panel with the curators and the artists was held at the opening night which was followed by a block techno party with DJ and musician Salar Ansari.

FREEWAY: Little Syria & Harlem

Curator and performer | The Armory Show, Lower West Side, Harlem, NYC | March 8, 2015
The public celebration provided an opportunity for the Armory Show 2015 to connect to the neighborhoods of immigrants and people of color in NYC. The Parade invited the public and Armory visitants alike to celebrate Harlem as well as the Little Syria vanished neighborhood in Lower West Side Manhattan and created awareness about the endangered historical sites in the areas.

360 Degree live journalism with artists in Iran (REFRAME IRAN?!)

Curatorial adviser | Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University and Stanford University | 2014-15
The project explored the impact of immersive real-time news experience as a tactic for cultivating empathy and understanding distant communities through contemporary arts. The first series is focused on the Iranian artistic identity inside and outside of the country.


Curator | Houston, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Ashville, Washington D.C., Cambridge, NYC, Detroit, Maine | March 2014-August, 2015
The mobile residency provided space for artists from SWANA and the U.S. to live together and collaborate on experiments and projects on the way. The residency consisted of carefully curated exhibitions and public programs with Museums and universities as well as organic encounters with diverse communities, and grassroots movements across the United States.


Culturunners Symposium at MIT Media Lab

Co-curator with Azra Aksamija | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge | October 5, 2014
The daylong multi-component program presented short stories and new media projects by 40 artists. The multi-disciplinary Symposium took place concurrently at the Cube and the Bartos Theater. The program was a roving portrayal of personal experiences, case studies, and theories that interconnect narratives, economies, politics, cultures, and landscapes  related to the US and SWANA. Audience members moved between different curated environments and interacted with the presenters. They tested wearable, mobile, and online technologies developed during the MIT workshops for Culturunners project.

Culturunners Launch

Co-producer | Rothko Chapel, Houston | September 21, 2014
In the spirit of the Chapel’s humanist mission to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, and to provide a forum for global concerns, the event brought together pioneering artists, scholars, and community groups to cultivate new perspectives on cultural collaboration on the UN’s International Day of Peace.

Fixed Unknowns 

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman (The Back Room) | Taymour Grahne Gallery in Tribeca, NYC  | July 4-September 6, 2014
The works by Kamrooz Aram, Shirana Shahbazi, and Hannah Whitaker in Fixed Unknowns draw upon classical genres of image-making—the portrait, the landscape, the still life. Each artist introduces a syntax: a repeated grid of floral motifs lifted from a Persian carpet; an overlapping series of geometric planes; a pattern sourced from a Bauhaus textile, hand-cut on a screen. They trouble the seeming fixity of these repeating designs, and their attendant politics and histories, through near-erasures and imperfect cover-ups. 

I Am Only A Reporter

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman (The Back Room) | Art Dubai Modern Section | March 19-22, 2014
In an ongoing series of spare works, rendered delicately on notebook paper, produced during the mid-1980s, Ardeshir Mohassess (1938, Tehran, IR – 2008, New York, US) tested the limits of animating a line, turning a pen stroke into an acrobatic feat. His drawings appear sahl-e-momtaneh—simple and impossible. Mohassess’s lines—whether spare or ecstatically spurting with ink—report contradictions in contemporary life, leaving the viewer to contend with ambiguities “beyond the how and the why.” Mohassess animates a scratch. He writes with dust.

Open Relationship

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman (The Back Room) | Recess, NYC | November 1, 2014
The public panel discussion acted as a coda for Spatial-Making-Do, an eight-week, three-channel telepresence workshop produced by The Back Room in collaboration with CultureHub Project of LaMaMa Theater with artists, art organizers, and scholars in Detroit, New York, Isfahan, and Tehran.



Curator | Shirin Gallery NY | New York | October 24-November 28, 2013
The solo exhibition presented collage mixed media works of Shadi Yousefian created from the letters the artists exchanged with her family after migrating to the United States. 

The Last Strand

Curator | Shirin Gallery NY | New York | January 23-March 5, 2014
The solo exhibition presented installation and painting by Hadi Hazavei. It was presented as a part of my more extensive research on a collective of Iranian artists and friends including Abbas Kiarostami, Ardeshir Mohassess, Nicky Nodjoumi, and Hadi Hazavei. The main intention was providing spaces for discourse and connection between the unexplored Modern Art movements in Iran and the U.S. 


Performance on Trial

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman | White Box in NYC | November 20, 2011 The panel proposed questions to Shirin Neshat and Wafaa Bilal on the making of their latest performance pieces Overruled and A Call. The program was moderated by Nicholas Mirzaoeff and was hosted by White Box in New York City in collaboration with Sazmanab Platform for Contemporary Arts in Tehran.

A Call

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman | White Box in NYC, Aaran Gallery in Tehran I September 23-October 10, 2011
The two-channel large scale performance was the first independent memorial ever dedicated to the dead, the living, and the forgotten of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) created in collaboration with Wafaa Bilal and produced by The Back Room with  Aaran Gallery and Sazmanab in Tehran.

Siting Performance

Co-curator with Molly Kleiman | Eyebeam in NYC, Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | April 16, 17, 2011
The two-channel two-day telepresence workshop with Richard Schechner and Bavand Behpoor connected 40 artists in Tehran and New York for discourse on ritual, dark play, and site and ended with proposals for site-specific interventions. The program was hosted by Silk Road Gallery in Tehran and Eyebeam in New York.

The Back Room 

Co-founder and director with Molly Kleiman | Iran and the US | 2010-14 The pedagogical and curatorial project provided space for direct concersation and collaboration between artists, curators, and writers in Iran and the US.


165 Years of Iranian Photography

Assistant Director to Anahita Ghabaian Ettehadie | Quai Branly Museum in Paris |  2009
The 2nd Photoquai biennial was directed by Anahita Ghabaian Ettehadieh, Director of the Silk Road Gallery of Tehran, the first art space dedicated to photography in Iran that she founded in 2001. The exhibition was co-curated by Bahman Jalali and Hasan Sarbhakshian.

The House

Assistant Curator to Anahita Ghabaian Ettehadieh | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | December 11, 2009
The solo exhibition presented works by Mehrdad Naraghi on the forgotten aspects of domestic life in Iran. 

Past Continous Tense

Curator | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | 2009
The poetic Series of Baback Kazemi superimposes a cell phone photograph of a cloud on the various war-torn locations in oil sites and cities in southern Iran. 

Forough: They Planted her in the Garden that Day

Assistant Curator to Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | June 15, 2009
The photo exhibition presented photographs by Yahya Dehghanpour from Forough Farokhzad’s funeral and acted as a visual history of the intellectual community of Iran in 1967. 


Think Positive

Assistant Curator to Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | December 20, 2008
The group Photo and installation exhibition presented works by Katayoun Karami, Ali Nadjian and Ramyar Manouchezadeh

Nil, Nil

Assistant Curator to Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | October 4, 2008
The solo exhibition was the first presentation of the series by Shadi Ghadirian commenting on the impact of the war of everyday life in Iran.

Black Cow 

Curator | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | May 31, 2008
The first solo exhibition of Babak Kazemi presented photographs washed with tar and gold from her hometown Abadan, one of Iran’s poor oil cities.

Peyman Hooshamandzadeh

Assistant Curator of Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | May 3, 2008 
The solo exhibition presented the latest series of photographs by the artist on everyday satirical subjects and compositions in Iran.

Katayoun Karami, Mehran Mohajer, and Parham Taghiof

Assistant Curator of Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | 2008


Mehrdad Najmabadi

Assistant Curator of Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | 2007

Red Room

Assistant Curator of Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | 2007
A solo exhibition by Mehran Mohajer

Katayoun Karami

Assistant Curator of Anahita Ghabaian | Silk Road Gallery in Tehran | 2007
Thirty-one years onwards, when turning 40, I witnessed in sorrow my hair had started to gray without ever having had the chance to be touched by the sun.This series of double sided self portraits portray a dual image of this moment of my life; the front image through a veiling of the back of the female’s hair, coupled with a fading of the black color saturation. The reverse image, reflecting that what is always unseen and forgotten, through a cover of handmade black and white silver gelatin emulsion, rendering the exposed female hair as limp, wasted and useless. A solo exhibition by Katayoun Karami.