Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 pm
Join us for the launch of Cultured Pallets: Aga Khan Museum, an installation in the Museum Collections Gallery by Canadian-Iranian artist Soheila Esfahani. Go behind the scenes with a presentation by the artist followed by a fireside chat with Anna Triandafyllidou, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Toronto Metropolitan University. Listen as Esfahani reflects on her newest installation and discusses diaspora, the experience of living between different cultures, displacement and cultural translation, and the interconnectedness of global cultures and places.
The site-specific installation is comprised of more than 100 shipping pallets which have been laser-etched with a geometric design inspired by a wooden door from the Aga Khan Museum Collections. Esfahani transforms these everyday objects, often used as platforms to transport goods and materials, to capture the feeling of in-betweenness — a space where those experiencing migration often find themselves negotiating identities and cultures. Intended to return to circulation following the installation, the ornate pallets metaphorically represent the ongoing dialogue between cultures.
Soheila Esfahani grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Canada in 1992. She received her Master of Fine Arts from Western University and her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. She is an award-winning visual artist and the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. She is a recipient of the Waterloo Region Arts Awards 2016 and was nominated for the Jameel Prize at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK, in 2015. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, the Doris McCarthy Gallery, and Cambridge Art Galleries, as well as collected by various public and private institutions, including the Canada Council Art Bank. She is an Assistant Professor at Western University and is a member of the Red Head Gallery in Toronto.
Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Prior to joining TorontoMet in August 2019, she held a Robert Schuman Chair at the Global Governance Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. She is the Editor of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. Her recent authored books include What is Europe (with R. Gropas, 2nd edition, Routledge, 2022); and Rethinking Migration and Return in Southeastern Europe (with E. Gemi, Routledge, 2021).