Dark Matter is a series of combined sculptural objects modeled and re-appropriated in Maya and 3D printed to form humorous juxtapositions. The objects chosen for the first series are the objects/things that are forbidden or unwelcome in Iran by the government. Owning some of these objects/things (dog, dildo, gun, Barbie, neck tie, satellite dish, etc.) might mean a fine or jail time, or constantly being at risk of harassment by the moral police. By bringing the virtual 3D into physical existence, I want to simultaneously resist and bring awareness to the power that constantly threatens, discourages, and actively works against the ownership of these items in Iran. Regardless of functionality I am able to re-create and archive a collection of forbidden objects through 3D printing. In a way, the sculptural objects serve as a documentation of lives (my own life included) lived under oppression and dictatorship. This is the documentation of a history full of red lines drawn in the most private aspect of one’s life. In addition, I am creating a series of virtual and 3D landscapes made separately for each object as a way to position them in an unknown time in history. By designing ambiguous contexts through architectural and landscape animations, I create a place between the real and the imagined that is aesthetically hard to place in the past or future. What happens when you re-contextualize the forbidden? Could inserting the sculptures into another time and space change our relationship to these objects and challenge us to enter a historical dimension of the work?
Morehshin Allahyari is a new media artist and an art activist. She was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her creative and research interests include experimental 3D animation, digital filmmaking, installation, performance and extensive activity as a cultural curator. Coming from a social science background, the topics of her practice include political and social art, creative writing, art activism, and collaborative art. Allahyari’s animated films and curatorial projects have received worldwide acclaim. She has been part of numerous national and international exhibitions, festivals, and conferences in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Canada, North and South America. She recently received the Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough award from Dallas Museum of Art and was an artist in residence at the Film and Media program at the Banff Centre during the summer of 2013.