May 11-25, 2022

Pedram Baldari

Kurdish-Iranian born, sculptor, architect, and interdisciplinary artist working in installation, site-specific, performance art, social practice, and sculpture. Pedram is based in between Minneapolis, MN, and Denton/Dallas, TX. He has been featured in numerous national and international solo and group art exhibitions since 2010 such as Victoria and Albert Museum London 2012, Documenta 13th Video Import-Export program, Video Nomad Tokyo 2015, Art Basel Basel Switzerland 2014, and shown work across the U.S in museums and galleries as recent as his work at Walker Art Museum.

He has been selected to art residencies internationally and has had group art exhibitions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, and The U.S. He is the recipient of 2012 Magic of Persia and Delfina Foundation Award, Jerome Fellowship Commission for Franconia Sculpture Park 2017, Vermont Studio Center Award 2015 and 2020, StarDust Fund for his fellowship and art residency at Weisman Art Museum, 2021 spring/summer MacDowell Art Fellowship for two months Artist Residency at MacDowell Art Colony. His most recent solo show was “Your Games and Your Gains” at Soo Visual Art Center in summer 2021. Baldari is an Assistant Professor in Studio Art at the University of North Texas. 

Artist Statement

An intermedia practice has been stemming out of my artistic research that is focused on the exploration of power dynamics, systems of legitimacy in and out of the arts, disorientation inherent in my experience as a Kurdish minority in regards with the state(past in my native land Kurdistan-Iran and present in the U.S), displacement, the concept of citizenship, war, and immigration. Growing up at the border of the Iran-Iraq war zone, during a time of Kurdish ethnic cleansing, personal and political legitimacy remained influx and mobility was a daily negotiation. As a result of this socio-political instability, my body became physically displaced, while remaining psychologically stitched between worlds. Now living in the United States, my relationship to the idea of country, both past, and present, continues to exist in a state of in-between-ness. This liminality permeates in both the materials and working methods found within my practice. The artworks sprouting from this exploration tend to be transient, liminal, temporary, participatory, game-like, and sometimes transgressive. As an interdisciplinary artist, I employ a wide range of processes in my art practice such as video, performance, hybrid forms, installation, social practice, radio transmitting-converting surfaces into radio antennas, and sculpture. I am invested in creating cross-cultural investigation by stitching aesthetics, and repurposing metaphors, myths, symbols, signs to deconstruct and decolonize the very fabric of my own practice and its visual and epistemological components. While having a strong architectural and design background, as an artist I am very well aware of how forms are not neutral visual elements, rather epistemological and aesthetical systems of legitimizations based on a preferred (through power dynamics, colonialism, market, institutional preferences, mass media and socio-politics) visual baggage. 

Recent bodies of work incorporate mutable materials and ephemeral gestures—site-specific, temporary installations that are activated by participants, objects and spaces reimagined through performance, and shifting sculptural forms. These works reject stability, embracing temporality and portability. My practice also resists the idea of “finished artwork.” My work goes into a state of hiatus while displayed.

Images courtesy of the artist

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