More 5×5 Art – U.S.A.I.R.A.N- at the former Library Kiosk on H Street, NE


From 13th and H Street, NE.


From 5×5:

“U.S.A.I.R.A.N obscures the perceived divide between Iranian and US identities. By reappropriating the exterior of a vacant building in D.C.’s thriving H Street corridor, artist Sanaz Mazinani creates a sculptural symbol for the transference of culture in which one’s personal politics are recontextualized and cross-examined.

The installation brings attention to the void of Washington D.C.’s official Embassy of Iran, which has stood regal yet vacant on Massachusetts Avenue NW since 1980. Mazinani wraps a quintessential mid-century American building — the site of the former Robert L. Christian Community Library — in intricate Islamic patterns. Articulating the nebulous sense of place from the perspective of an emigrant, muraled windows and walls reference the architectural details of the former Embassy. Upon close inspection, one will see that these patterns are comprised of mass media imagery, composed in both parallels and contradictions. U.S.A.I.R.A.N examines absence and placelessness, while at the same time explores the potential for harmony. It is a site from which to build mutual respect and activate cultural exchange.”


8 Comment

  • Rave: Art.
    Rant: Curators’/artists’ explanations of art.

    • Formerly Broken Jaw

      Lol I get what you are saying but it is helpful sometimes for the art-impaired such as me.

    • RAVE: Beautiful! Aesthetically it’s a huge improvement.
      RANT: Why does the display lead with the curator’s name, rather than the artist’s? Very poor form.

      • I agree it’s very weird that the curators are given such prominent billing in this show. Granted, I think the premise is that five curators each select five artists’ works, but it still seems a bit out of line. Even at, say, the Whitney Biennial, for which the curators have an enormous role in determining who will participate and in what way, the curators don’t announce their presence nearly as much as they do in this case.

    • What don’t you understand?

  • These pictures don’t do it justice. The windows are all backlit with LEDs, so it really pops at night.

  • clevelanddave

    “Reappropriating” is an interesting word. I hope he got permission to do this. I always thought that was a pretty cool building with the bent glass- very 50’s.

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