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Chapman University’s Guggenheim Art Gallery Hosts

Poetics of Proximity

International Exhibition Exploring Globalization and Displacement

Opening Reception Saturday, February 7, 2004
In Orange, California

Orange, CA (1/14/04) - Chapman University’s Guggenheim Art Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Poetics of Proximity which bring together a diverse group of artists addressing issues of globalization and displacement as manifested in the diverse cultural narratives. The show features works from Los Angeles artists as well as an international group of artists from Morocco, Afghanistan, Algeria, Turkey and Iran, many of whom will be showing in Southern California for the first time. Connect with the artists for an opening reception on Saturday, February 7, 2004 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Please RSVP to lynn@greengalactic.com. The exhibition is scheduled to run from February 7th - March 20th, and will be accompanied by a catalog and a series of artist’s lectures and panels. Chapman University’s gallery is located at One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866 (www.chapman.edu/sca/events.asp). Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 12noon – 5:00pm and Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm. Please call 714-997-6729 for more information. You may also visit www.poeticsproximity.com for artist’s statements and images.

Participating artist include Abdelali Dahrouch, Zineb Sedira, Taraneh Hemami, Masood Kamandy, Serkan Ozkaya, Arzu Arda Kosar, Habib Kheradyar, Gul Cagin, and Lida Abdul.

All aspects of globalization today--political, economic, judicial, and artistic--inevitably engage issues of proximity and distance. Today, proximities can cause anxieties, just as distances sometimes create the illusion of security and purity. For some, proximity to something unfamiliar becomes the cause for drawing boundaries, for saying, "This is where I end and where you begin." Others continually seek new proximities, new spaces, and in doing so transform both themselves and that which they come in contact with. Proximity could be a consequence of a movement toward a person or witnessing an event, or disaster. All of this may seem to require an alteration in how one relates to the world. The work of all the artists in the show Poetics of Proximity, at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, articulates precisely this latter engagement with events that remain electrically charged. Curated by two Los Angeles based artists Lida Abdul and Gul Cagin, Poetics of Proximity strives to expand our narrow perception of other cultures, and other bodies.

Abdelali Dahrouch is a conceptual media artist who lives in Los Angeles, and works between the U.S., France, and Morocco. Born in Tangier, and raised in Morocco and France, Dahrouch emigrated to the U.S. in 1984 to pursue multimedia art as a vehicle to address the political and social issues he was immersed in as an activist and writer. Dahrouch graduated from Pratt Institute in New York with a Masters of Fine Arts, and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. He has exhibited his work in New York, Chicago, Portland (OR), Los Angeles, Seville (Spain), Sophia (Bulgaria), and Tabor, Cimelice, Plasy and Prague (Czech Republic). His most recent solo exhibition entitled, Desert Sin, Revisited was on view from August to October 2003 at Montgomery Art Museum, Pomona College in Claremont, California. He was invited to participate in Home Works II-2003: A Forum on Cultural Practices in Beirut, Lebanon that was organized by Ashkal Alwan, a non-profit arts organization, funded by the Ford Foundation. His upcoming shows will be at the Athens Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Georgia; the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California; the BC Space Gallery in Laguna Beach, California; and Liquidation Total Art Space in Madrid, Spain.

Zineb Sedira was born in Paris in 1963. The London-based artist employs a clearly autobiographical visual language. Her work speaks of living in-between various cultures, and strives to challenge identity stereotypes and expectations. Sedira is a graduate of St. Martins, the Slade and Royal College of Art and has been exhibited widely across Europe, the Middle East and the USA. She has been a participant in many international shows including 6th Sharjah Biennial, 49th Venice Biennale and currently she is showing in ICP’s (International Center of Photography) Triennale show Stranger, in NYC, and in the Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis.

Masood Kamandy uses his camera as a tool for exploration. Through the lens, he seeks to understand both himself and his surroundings. His photographs function as his diary. In his recent work Kamandy explored his heritage as an Afghan-American. Masood’s work has been shown at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art (NYC) and in Germany Momentum Construction. Masood is a student at School of Visual Arts, BFA-2004, New York.

Serkan Ozkaya was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1973. Ozkaya chooses the perspective of institutional critique. It is impossible for him to leave out the artist/art institution relationship a third fundamental element -- the public -- and thereby simultaneously to slightly shift the accent from the world of art to the terrain of the everyday. He received his MFA at Bard College, New York. He has participated in many international shows including Tirana Biennale Fundamentalisms in the New Order at Charlottenborg Museum, Copenhagen; Look Again at Proje 4L, Istanbul; MUTATIONS/Rumour City, TN Probe, Tokyo.

Arzu Arda Kosar is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles, California. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1999. She is particularly attracted to flowers as a material not only due to their undeniable allure but also their ephemeral nature. Her work, which focuses on topics related to balkanization, has been featured in numerous exhibitions including Shoshana Wayne Gallery at Bergamot Station and Crazy Space, both in Santa Monica, CA; Gallery 825, Raid Projects, Three Day Weekend, Miller Durazo Gallery, and USC Helen Lindhurst Gallery, all in Los Angeles; Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA; Palos Verdes Art Center in Palos Verdes, CA.

Habib Kheradyar was born in Teheran, Iran and moved to the United States when he was thirteen. He completed his secondary and higher education in Los Angeles. He received his MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University in 1988. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles as an artist and educator. His work can be located within the extended field of painting, ranging from silent, formal objects to site specific, multi-media installations often including performances. His work is guided by multi-cultural influences ranging from Iranian traditional and pop along with ascetic Islam to Western classical, jazz, rock, psychedelia, techno and pop. He is also the proprietor of POST preeminent venue for contemporary art in Los Angeles since September of 1995. He has exhibited extensively in Europe and the Untied States. His work is included in the permanent collections of LA County and Berkley Museums of Art. He is a 2004 recipient of the C.O.L.A. Grant.

Taraneh Hemami is an Iranian born Bay Area artist. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 1991 and has exhibited her paintings and installations widely ever since. She creates personal as well as collective multi-dimensional visual archives that explore themes of displacement, preservation, loss and belonging. Personalizing and reinterpreting Persian and Islamic structures and inscriptions, her work investigates the in-between spaces; between a two and three dimensional space, manufactured and hand-made objects, between tradition and technology, past and present. Her “Hall of Reflections, Remembrances of Iranian Immigrants” project was recently presented in the 6th International Sharjah Biennial. She will be at Djerassi Artist Residency in September 2004.

Gul Cagin is a Los Angeles-based installation and performance artist whose work is driven by random combinations of elements including color, materials, forms, movements, found and fabricated materials. She is interested in creating environments, a hybrid space, where architectural elements meet with bodily elements. Cagin received her BFA degree from University of Southern California (1999) and MFA degree from Claremont Graduate University (2001). Her works have exhibited in venues such as Museum of New Mexico, Highways Performance Space (LA), Raid Projects (LA), Centre Civic-Barcelona, Occidental College (LA), San Diego Art Institute, Crazy Space (Santa Monica), The Armory Center for The Arts (Pasadena) and private houses.

Lida Abdul was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1973 and lived in Germany and India as a refugee before coming to the US in 1986. She received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of California at Irvine in June 2000. A widely exhibited artist, she has produced work in numerous media - video, film, photography and her work has been featured in festivals in Mexico, Spain and Japan. Her film, My City Has No Monuments (2000), was screened at the first Afghan American Film & Video Festival held in New York and sponsored by the Afghan American Peace Corps in 2002. As a performance artist, she has performed in Southern California at Highways, Track 16, Raid, UCI, Knitting Factory and LACE and was also a featured artist at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle in August 2002. Her video work is included in the SCARS DVD edited by Bruna Mori and Joe Santarromana (2003) and in spring 2004, she will be doing a residency at BANFF, Canada.


For more information, or to interview the curators Lida Abdul and Gul Cagin please contact Lynn Hasty at Green Galactic at (323) 466-5141 or lynn@greengalactic.com.