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Featured Artist • Photographer

Kristen Alvanson Shiraz, Iran
About the Artist | Exhibitions | Web site | Click on thumbnails

About the Artist
Kristen Alvanson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota . She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and has a degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She owned the well-known New York City clothing and music store HOUSE in the early 1990s and later worked as a Vice President at HSBC managing the bank's US  philanthropy. Alvanson relocated to the Middle East in 2006 and is currently living and working in the Shiraz, Iran. Her current projects include:

Maskh Project
The connotation of the word maskh in Farsi is more than metamorphosis; it includes experiencing limits of one's identity or existence usually with the assistance of new independent vehicles of material and abstract articulation, as in the case of spirit possession. Maskh project is a visual compendium of drawings diagramming Alvanson's metamorphoses in the Middle East in the form of spells and maps.

This project is a psycho-geographic exploration of Middle Eastern graveyards, entombments and post-mortem spaces escapes necromanticism or fascination with ruins by illustrating the understanding and encounters with space and time—and consequently the twofold of dwelling and thinking in the Middle East.

Lumpen Orientalism
This project gathers the fragments of a lost civilization, the decaying parts of a once breathing animal. Named after a term suggested by China Miéville, Lumpen Orientalism is a photo blog engendering an anomalous fascination with the Middle East in a similar way to the mongrel techniques of Gilles Deleuze, H. P. Lovecraft, Gaëtan Clérambault and William Beckford, who also tackle the enigmatic monstrosity of the Middle East.

Lessons in Schizophrenia
The artist's forthcoming multi-volume book, based on real events which led her to leave the US for the Middle East in a cataclysmic process. It includes an introduction by the Iranian Philosopher Reza Negarestani entitled Epithemic.

The dESIRE Project
An ongoing investigation on desire which includes artistic components; it is an attempt to reach concrete but not necessarily corporeal definitions of desire by tapping into its obscure formations. dESIRE Project is intertwined with the mathematics of natural numbers, countability/uncountability, pimp as a nomadic dissipater, stock market, legal contracts, intangibility and expendability of desires. Alvanson's dESIRES, both intangible and their photographic representations, are for sale on the Market section of her Web site.

Art 101, Brooklyn NY

File Magazine

Maskh, in Frozen Tears III, a global anthology of theory, art and writing
Editor: John Russell, Article Press, 2007

COLLAPSE: Journal of Philosophical Research and Development, vol. II, "Elysian Space in the Middle East"
Editor in chief: Robin Mackay, Oxford: Urbanomic (2007), ISBN 0-9553087-1-2

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