apexart opens an exhibition of textile-based installations

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apexart opens an exhibition of textile-based installations
Hoda Zarbaf, Anti-home (workshop documentation), 2020.

TEHRAN.- Iranian women are at the forefront of change. Throughout Iran, women are fighting to close the gender gap through active participation in higher education, advocating for women’s participation in the labor force, and helping each other to understand their rights. However, there is still a long way to go when it comes to challenging traditional expectations of womanhood in this transitional society, and there are few opportunities for women’s participation in the public sphere.

These issues are even more complicated for women who are recovering from addiction, a situation that is often accompanied by domestic abuse, prejudice, and poverty. These compounding factors regularly result in physical and mental health issues that isolate and prevent these women from taking an active part in society.

WOMEN C(A)REATE takes its name from a group of women artists who are passionate about this issue. The exhibition presents the artists’ textile-based installations which have been made with the help of women who are in addiction recovery. Textile-based art has deep roots in Iran; taking many forms, it is a recognizable and popular medium for women artists and is often used when addressing issues of gender-based injustice. Through their participation in the creative process, women in recovery learn new skills that can facilitate their entry into the labor force, and that spark interest in creative industries and the arts. The exhibition aims to inform and encourage Iranian society to help and support those in recovery, and it acts as a tool for collective empowerment, action, expression, and negotiation.

WOMEN C(A)REATE was selected through apexart’s Open Call.

Elnaz Tehrani is an independent curator, service designer and architect. After studying architecture in Tehran, she worked a number of years as an architect. She studied Product Service System Design at Politecnico di Milano University. Her motivation is “change making” to achieve any kind of Social Innovation, believing in the power of design and the act of making. She is also interested in developing new experiences that could provide innovative solutions, always putting the users at the center of the process. Tehrani is the founder and director of OBJET, which supports design culture by offering an exhibition platform in Tehran.

Anahita Rezaallah is an Architect from Tehran, Iran. Currently she is based in Milan, Italy where she works as an Architect and Urban Planner, and teaches at Politecnico di Milano University where she completed both her MSc and PhD in Architecture with a focus on sustainability. Rezaallah researches the possibilities of addressing issues of contemporary cities and transitioning societies through public art and art installations, and is interested in issues of identity, equality, social inclusion, environmental impacts and women’s empowerment.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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