The 5x5 Project Brings Music & Public Art to H Street & NoMa
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has organized a free concert and reception at the now vacant R.L. Christian Library space (1300 H Street). This is part of the larger 5x5 Project, which is billed as DC's largest public art project. This is opening weekend for the project, which will run for three months, and consists of public art, events, and happenings.
Over in NoMa, there's another very cool event in conjunction with the unveiling of a mural. There's a screen printing workshop presented by Oakland based graphic art collective Dignidad Rebelde and local artist DECOY. This event is at 1st and N NE (NOT SE as it is listed on some websites/maps). This event runs from 2-4pm Saturday. Free tickets available.
From the Facebook page for the concert on H Street:
Please join us for an opening reception of U.S.A.I.R.A.N, a project by Sanaz Mazinani, as part of 5x5, a public art festival organized by The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
The reception will be from 4 - 6pm
Musical performance by Parnaz Partovi @ 4pm
Refreshments will be served.
U.S.A.I.R.A.N obscures the perceived divide between Iranian and US identities. By reappropriating the exterior of a vacant building in D.C.’s thriving H Street corridor, artist Sanaz Mazinani creates a sculptural symbol for the transference of culture in which one’s personal politics are recontextualized and cross-examined.
The installation brings attention to the void of Washington D.C.’s official Embassy of Iran, which has stood regal yet vacant on Massachusetts Avenue NW since 1980. Mazinani wraps a quintessential mid-century American building — the site of the former Robert L. Christian Community Library — in intricate Islamic patterns. Articulating the nebulous sense of place from the perspective of an emigrant, muraled windows and walls reference the architectural details of the former Embassy. Upon close inspection, one will see that these patterns are comprised of mass media imagery, composed in both parallels and contradictions. U.S.A.I.R.A.N examines absence and placelessness, while at the same time explores the potential for harmony. It is a site from which to build mutual respect and activate cultural exchange.
Sanaz Mazinani is a San Francisco-based visual artist, whose work explores the relationship between perception and representation. Working primarily in photography and large-scale, photo-based installations, her practice intersects conceptual and formal boundaries of the photographic image in response to site, sight and insight, especially in relation to digital culture. Her work has been exhibited in the Museum Bärengasse, Zürich, the Art & Architecture Library at Stanford University, the University of Toronto Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Sarai, New Delhi, Center for Contemporary Photography in Toronto and Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai. Mazinani’s catalogue, Unfolding Images was released in 2012 by Bulgar Gallery Press. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission and was shortlisted for the 2013 Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, granted the Kala Art Institute Fellowship. In 2013, Mazinani was awarded the SFAC Art on Market Street public art installation. Her artwork has been written about in Border Crossings, Nuva Luz, NOW Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and SFWeekly. Mazinani studied art at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (2003), and received her MFA at Stanford University (2011).
Parnaz Partovi was born in Tehran, Iran. She has been playing violin since she was 10 and has performed at many regional concerts and won several awards at national competitions. She started her singing career two years ago and released her first single, "Ghasedak" in collaboration with Morad Khojasteh Nejad in 2012. She composes the vocal and violin part of her songs and usually uses the poetry of well known Iranian poets. The genres of her songs are inspired with a mixture of Jazz and Blues.
See the site in daylight in the video below.
Here's a quick peek at @sanazmazinani's gorgeous U.S.A.I.R.A.N installation. https://t.co/vkh2KCN1aS (Credit: @joshuacoganphoto) #5x5dc
— The 5x5 Project (@The5x5Project) September 4, 2014