Pouya Afshar | "Mourn Baby Mourn": Dastan's Basement

28 July - 11 August 2017 The Basement

A solo presentation of works by Pouya Afshar

Installation Views
Press release

Dastan is pleased to announce the opening of Pouya Afshar’s solo exhibition titled “Mourn Baby Mourn” at Dastan’s Basement. The exhibition will be open for public viewing from July 28 through August 11, 2017. This is Pouya Afshar’s first solo exhibition at Dastan. Pouya Afshar has exhibited his work as an animator and visual artist throughout Los Angeles and United States at renowned locations such as Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center, Bovard Auditorium at University of Southern California, Royce Hall at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Santa Monica Art Studios, 18th Street Art Center, and numerous galleries and art fairs around the world.
Pouya Afshar (b. 1984, Tehran, Iran) immigrated to the United States in 2000. Afshar’s meticulous draftsmanship combined with his cinematic training enables him to create culturally engaged images and place them into larger narratives replete with details from his own life and socio-political events happening around him. In addition to his work as an artist, he is an alumnus from the California Institute of Arts Character Animation department and is a graduate of University of California Los Angeles Graduate Department of Film and Television focusing in Animation and Digital Media. Pouya has presented his research at Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Southern California, School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Residency Unlimited NY. He is also the recipient of a Creative Economy Grant in the state of Massachusetts. Pouya is the creator, character designer and producer of the animated series ‘Rostam in Wonderland’ and the co-creator of 1PA2PA comics. He is currently an assistant professor of Art and Design at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Pouya Afshar’s latest multimedia project ‘Mourn Baby Mourn’, consisting of drawings, paintings, prints, videos and video-installations, examines mourning from a personal/historical perspective in relation to the tradition of Persian and Muslim Shiite mourning rituals known as “Ta’zie”. ‘Mourn Baby Mourn’ will conclude at LACMA with a commissioned site-specific installation in Spring 2018.
The artist states: “’Mourn Baby Mourn’ revolves around mourning rituals and cathartic approaches through Art and the historic elements that generate these traditions in Theatre. This series is a multimedia project that explores mourning in a personal and historical level. The series dwells on the theatrical aspects of Ta’zie in a non-linear format before transforming into animation and video projections as memories and dreams of the artist. This project also aims to create dialogue on how one can recover from a loved one’s death and why community creates a platform to do so through video performance and condolence theatre.”
Pouya Afshar continues: “Having to deal with the loss of a mentor recently, I have begun to explore sentimental relations to mourning habits and rituals. This experience has caused me to reflect upon my understanding of the reasons behind mourning rituals —to examine why theatre becomes a vehicle for individuals to move as a mass towards calm, hiding behind their role, whether on stage as actors/actresses or as the audience.”
“In this project, the process of creation is as equally substantial to me as the product itself and my interests often lay roots in how I aim to conclude but end up elsewhere. How I, as a mentee, am advised by my environment and his/her story. How I change in shape, texture, and effectiveness during the completion of a project is an integral emphasis in developing ‘Mourn Baby Mourn’”.