Yasi Alipour

New York, NY

There is a simple mathematical idea, the Liar’s Paradox. A thought has corrupting the system for centuries now. I first heard of it as I was finishing my thesis in Computer Science in the University of Tehran. It was 2009, the golden days of the Green Movement. We pursued our education in between protesting, cancelling classes, boycotting, debating, worrying about friends in prison, and smoking way too many cigarettes. “This statement is a lie.” True or False. As easy as that and logic crumbled all around us. My work starts there. I fold to leave a trace of my spiraling thoughts.

In my visual practice, I meditate on narratives by paring them with works on paper. I commit to three forms, each signifying a different perspective on the Middle East’s dominant public art: Abstract Geometry. The first form considers the empty nationalist glorification of the practice, by flirting with the logic of Islamic design. The second looks into exotification, orientalism and the outsider perspective by referring to a form taken from an American book on “Sacred Geometry”. The third is an ode to the longing for logic and borrows the algorithm of a mathematical drawing. It all starts with a piece of office paper, printed black. These days I work on An Ode to Mapping, a series of visual studies that think of locality and displacement looking in the past year and all the unrest and turbulence it has brought for Iran. Folding is a gesture to make marks, to write, to destroy, to follow a logical structure until it has to face the failure of its material, paper.

Yasi Alipour is an Iranian artist/writer/folder who currently lives in Brooklyn and wonders about paper, politics, and performance. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2018. She is a teacher at Columbia University and School of Visual Arts and is currently a resident at the Sharpe Walentas Studio program.

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