The Law Warschaw Gallery is pleased to present TARAVAT, a survey of Taravat Talepasand’s signature work from the last fifteen years.

Made in Iran and born in America during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Taravat Talepasand explores how women navigate the geographic and physiological boundaries between East and West, revealing women’s bodies and perspectives becoming surfaces imprinted with the uncertainties of political and social upheavals. This exhibition is a record of one Iranian-American woman’s attempts to grapple with her difficult legacy, to transform it visually, to make something both beautiful and uncomfortable of this condition.

Growing up Iranian within America had been arduous and awkward. As a whole, we, as Iranians, had little consciousness of assimilation because of a constant denial of our permanence in America. In Iran, I found myself to be transgressive, yet within American culture being Iranian is transgressive in that American individualism and Iranian deference to tradition were irreconcilable. Traveling down one of those paths meant turning your back on the other even if the defiance was temporal; this was the hidden catch of the formation of my identity. The contradictions caused my head to constantly bounce around the question of inherent identity– that which is exterior and self-defined versus inward and pre-determined.

Taravat Talepasand is a Portland-based artist, activist, and educator whose labor-intensive interdisciplinary painting practice questions normative cultural behaviors within contemporary power imbalances. As an Iranian-American woman, Talepasand explores the cultural taboos that reflect on gender and political authority. Her approach to representation and figuration reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our Western Society.

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