Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jordan Amirkhani’s Exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

Over the summer Dr. Jordan Amirkhani, AU’s Visiting Professorial Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art History, curated an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. Running from August 3rd to October 5th, Identity Measures presents a group of diverse artists living, working, and exhibiting in the New Orleans area. Premised on the concept of identity and its politics as an ever-moving constellation of traits and experiences, Identity Measures is an exhibition that seeks to open a dialogue about “difference” through the lens of contemporary art. 

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Installation shot of Double Diamond’s “I Didn’t Mean It Like That” for Identity Measures at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans © Alex Marks for the CACNO

In her curatorial essay, Dr. Amirkhani stressed the importance of an intersectional approach when discussing identity as a way to resist violent modes of essentialization present in contemporary identity discourse. Rather than reduce an individual to a singular feature of their identity, Dr. Amirkhani’s exhibition and essay sought to acknowledge a more contingent and complicated notion of identity that would invite a more “heterogeneous understanding of the self.” 

This method of intersectional discourse is prominently featured in Identity Measures as the exhibition strives to portray and include artists of different racial, gender, religious, and cultural identities. 

 

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Installation shot of Identity Measures at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans © Alex Marks for the CACNO

Identity Measures raises important questions regarding identity and representation, and what visibility means for systemically marginalized and erased identities. In an era of fraught political and social divisions, Amirkhani asks “What does the importance of personal identity mean in an age of patriarchal violence, human rights violations, nationalist rhetoric, and outcries against “others”? 

 

Dr. Jordan Amirkhani received her PhD in the History and Philosophy of Art from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom in 2015, and has held academic posts at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Canterbury Christchurch University in the UK and curatorial positions at The Royal Academy in London, England and The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. Dr. Amirkhani’s work on contemporary art and artists working in the American Southeast garnered her a prestigious Creative Capital/The Andy Warhol Foundation “Short-Form” Writing Grant in 2017 and three nominations for The Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She is currently teaching two undergraduate courses at AU during the Fall 2019 semester; ARTH-210 How Art Became Modern and ARTH-105 Artists/Audiences & Afterlives.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday, September 29th: Dr. Jordan Amirkhani in conversation with painter Amy Hughes Braden for her exhibition shred at Sense Gallery, in Washington, DC, 5:30pm. RSVP Here.

Friday, October 18th: Grand Opening of STABLE’s inaugural exhibition Dialogues curated by Dr. Jordan Amirkhani, 336 Randolph Place NW, 6pm-10pm. RSVP Here.

 

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