Special Program with Morehshin Allahyari and American Artist

Morehshin Allahyari and American Artist

Morehshin Allahyari
Lamassu from the series Material
Speculation: ISIS
, 2015
3D-printed resin and electronic components
6 ¼ x 6 ¼ x 1 ¼ inches
Morehshin Allahyari

American Artist
No State, 2018
Aluminum phone casings, silicone,
and glass
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the Artist and LABOR,
Mexico City


  • April 8, 2023 1:00 PM

An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I'm concerned, it's their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don't think you can help but be involved.

—Nina Simone, referenced by Morehshin Allahyar in her UCLA Regents Lecture, 2019

For this special exhibition related program, exhibiting artists and friends Morehshin Allahyari and American Artist discuss the intersections of their materially driven, research-based practices, from technology criticism to digital decolonization and Middle-Eastern and Black speculative fiction. The artists, whose work spans the digital world, video, and installation, share details about pieces featured in I’ll Be Your Mirror: Art and the Digital Screen alongside ongoing research threads that animate both their practices.

Morehshin Allahyari (b. 1985, Tehran, Iran) is a New York-based Iranian-Kurdish artist who uses 3D simulations, video, sculpture, and digital fabrication as tools to re-figure myth and history. She has participated in festivals, workshops and exhibitions internationally, including the Venice Biennale di Archittectura; New Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Pompidou Center; Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Tate Modern; Queen Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; and Museum für Angewandte Kunst. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, WIRED, Parkett, Frieze, and on the BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, and the websites Rhizome and Hyperallergic, among others. Morehshin is the recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship (2021), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019), the Sundance Institute New Frontier International Fellowship (2019), and the Leading Global Thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine. Her work is the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Current Museum of Art.

American Artist (b. 1989, Pasadena, California) makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production, beginning with their legal name change in 2013. Their artwork primarily takes the form of sculpture, software, and video. Artist is a 2022 Creative Capital and United States Artists grantee, and a 2021 LACMA Art + Technology Lab recipient. They are a former resident of Smack Mellon, Red Bull Arts Detroit, Abrons Art Center, Recess, EYEBEAM, Pioneer Works, and Whitney Independent Study Program. Their exhibition record includes shows at The Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Cultured, Artforum, and Art in America. Artist is a co-director of the School for Poetic Computation and a full-time faculty member at Yale University. 

Modern Members Receive 20% off the Exhibition Catalogue in the Modern Shop Today Only. Not a member? Visit the Information Desk to join.

Seating is at 12:30 pm. A livestream broadcast of the lecture will be available here.

A limited number of tickets (limit two per person) will be available for purchase ($5) from 10 am until 5 pm the day before the program by calling 817.840.2144 or 817.840.2181. Free admission tickets (limit two per person) are available at the Modern’s information desk beginning at 10 am on the day of the program.