[-empyre-] Gita Hashemi

Gita Hashemi gita at ping.ca
Tue Jun 18 23:03:39 EST 2013

Greetings to all and gratitude to Renate Ferro and other moderators.
I have been a lurker on -empyre- since 2006!!?  A 
lurker because, benefit as I do from the 
discussions, I find it hard to keep up with the 
volume and thus to contribute meaningfully, so 
I've been happy to read and learn as I can.  I'm 
grateful to all of the contributors who have 
shared their knowledge and opinions here.

The personal/poetic
I was born in Shiraz, Iran where my ancestors had 
lived for several centuries. Got involved in 
activism against Pahlavi monarchy's despotism in 
my teens, and participated in the 1979 Revolution 
in my last year of high school. Changed course 
from a certain future as a mathematics something 
or other and entered the School of Fine Arts at 
Tehran University. Was expelled from the 
university in 1982 by the Islamic Cultural 
Revolution along with a large number of other 
leftist dissenters. Lived underground in Tehran 
for a while and left a few years later. Lived in 
Japan and then the U.S. as an "illegal alien" 
and,  with the first War on Iraq looming, crossed 
the border to Canada where I finally got accepted 
as a bona fide refugee, and a few years later 
could get a Canadian passport.  As an 
undocumented ex-citizen of Iran, I cannot vote in 
Iranian elections (even if I desire to).  I have 
been active in Palestine and indigenous 
solidarity movements for over two decades.  I 
live and work with this motto: The personal is 
poetic, the poetic is political, the political is 

The poetic/political
Born in Shiraz, Iran, Gita Hashemi 
(http://gitaha.net) is a Toronto-based artist, 
curator and writer. Her practice is concerned 
with historical and contemporary issues, 
collective trauma and neo/colonial politics. She 
uses different media, techniques and 
technologies, often drawing on interactive, 
participatory and/or collaborative methodologies, 
to explore social relations and the 
interconnections of embodied language with 
cultural imaginary and politics. Her recent works 
include Headquarters; Pathology of an Ouster 
(2013, http://headquarters.opinionware.net), a 
multi-platform project including an installation, 
performance and webcast focused on the 1953 US-UK 
coup d'etat in Iran; Utopias In-Progress (2011, 
http://utopias.opinionware.net), a performance, 
video and installation about the effects of 
capitalism on the arts; Ephemeral Monument (2008 
http://ephemeralmonument.opinionware.net and 
http://ephemeralmonument.subversivepress.org), a 
performance, video and installation focusing on 
the poetics and politics that animated the 
opposition to the Pahlavi monarchy in the years 
leading to the 1979 Iranian Revolution; 
Post-Coitus (2003, 2011, 
http://postcoitus.opinionware.net) originally a 
netart later relaunched as a performance exposing 
the intersections of white heterosexist 
patriarchy's sexual imaginary and the "war on 

Hashemi works with writing as an embodied 
practice.  Her project The Book of Illuminations 
revisits her early training as a calligrapher. 
Using writing as a ritual and drawing on 
self-narrative and idiomatic Farsi, in this 
project she explores intra-cultural 
border-crossing and illuminate political and 
cultural taboos. This project will be on exhibit 
June 21-September 15, 2013 at Harbourfront 
Centre's York Quay Gallery in Toronto as part of 
the group exhibit Third Space 
Hashemi's next solo show will be at Montréal, 
arts interculturels in November-December, 2013.

Her curatorial projects includeTrans/Planting: 
Contemporary Art by Women from/in Iran (2001, 
with Taraneh Hemami), Negotiations: From a Piece 
of Land to a Land of Peace (2003, with 
Negotiations Working Group 
http://negotiations.opinionware.net), Will (2003, 
with Negotiations Working Group 
http://will.opinionware.net), Locating 
Afghanistan (2004-5, 
RealPlay (2005, 
In Contact in Iraq (2005, 
and Acts of Being: Kazemi vs Libman (2005, 
and Auto-Liberacion (2007, 
Her current curatorial project ouster: re/union 
will be published in Fuse Magazine's upcoming 
Decolonial Aesthetics issue 
(http://fusemagazine.org) and presented as part 
of Decolonial Aesthetics Symposium in Toronto in 
Fall 2013.

Her writing has been published in several 
catalogues including 2005 and 2007 InterActiva 
(Merida, Mexico) and Decima Bienal de Habana's 
Evento Teorico, as well as in Fuse, Refuge, 
Resources for Feminist Research and Public. She 
is a recipient of Baddek International New Media 
Award for the CD-R Of Shifting Shadows, Toronto 
Community Foundation Award for the interactive 
sound installation The War Primer, and American 
Ad Federation's award for the book Locating 
Afghanistan (with Babak Salari, Haleh Niazmand, 
Daniel Ellis).  She has received several grants 
from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada 
Council for the Arts for her art, curatorial and 
writing projects. Hashemi taught time-based art, 
(new) media and cultural studies at York and 
Ryerson Universities and at University of 
Toronto, 1998-2009.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20130618/6963e2ed/attachment.htm>

More information about the empyre mailing list