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12 x 12 Artist Talk: Armita Raafat


Artist Armita Raafat discusses her work and ideas during this informal gallery talk. Inspired by a 17th-century architectural masterpiece of the Safavid Empire, the Shiekh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran, Raafat's site-specific installation for the UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Works exhibition series incorporates fragments of muqarnas, an architectural motif comprised of three-dimensional ornamentations arranged in tiers. The work contrasts the mosque's sense of harmony and perfection by approximating a state of disrepair or ruin. Invoking the pervasive destruction that resulted from the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), Raafat alludes to the fragility of life in Iran today—rom continued conflict in the region to ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States—and reflects on the unshakable desire for survival.