Marjan K. Vayghan
This collage represents the women of Iran, who have slowly and silently been fighting and protesting for their rights on top of the open graves reserved for their children. This collection of images helped me visualize my experience in Tehran, Iran, during the summer of 2009 and the political uprising which led to the largest mass murder committed by the governing factions of the Islamic Republic of Iran since it's inception.
Vayghan’s work converges in relation to personal memory, familial intimacy and transnational political consciousness. Her grandparents have instilled within her a profound sense of social justice from their experiences of resistance in Iran during World War II. Her grandparents’ struggle and her family’s exile from Iran have brought about the spirit of hope within Vayghan’s work. In particular Vayghan addresses the politics and processes of “misinformation,” and draws diverse communities together to consider these misidentifications collectively within the various settings she stages. She is concerned especially with representations of Middle Eastern Women, in relation to the Western mainstream and corporate media, as well as overall stereotypes of the “Other.” She employs the arena of “community” in her art to create solidarity and cross cultural understanding. Vayghan’s art is buoyant and playful, yet bold and spirited, as she challenges oppression, considers interconnectivity and envisions beyond borders.
Born to Azerbaijani parents in Tehran, Iran in 1984, Marjan Khoshbakhti Vayghan emigrated to the United States in the Spring of 1995, settling with her family in Los Angeles, California. Marjan continues to live alternately between Teheran and Los Angeles. Her practice is informed by this context of movement and flexible citizenship across both geographical and cultural spaces, and the multiple realities these spaces engender. She received her BFA as Class Marshal in Sculpture/New Genres at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, and her MA inWorld Arts and Culture at UCLA.