New York University’s Gallatin Galleries examines the trauma and displacement of involuntary migration in Diasporic Tremors, an exhibition of video and performance art curated by Ellada Evangelou and Keith Miller. Nine artists based in the New York metro area who come from Iran, India, Cyprus, Tunisia, Yemen, China, and Mexico grapple with the impossibility of being in two places and times at once. The exhibition explores the blurring of past and present and the trauma experienced by the artists, who for many reasons no longer live in their home countries.
“As members of their respective diasporic communities, these artists each work from a place of displacement. For this exhibition, we are interested in addressing the effect of this movement on the individuals and their communities,” Miller said. “Through the various modes of looking and thinking-through demonstrated in the videos, installations and performance, the exhibition makes clear that a diaspora is simultaneously a looking back to the place of origin, a looking out to a different world, and a looking inward as they define and redefine themselves within the new place.”
The exhibition features filmmaker/artist Suneil Sanzgiri, Cypriot writer and filmmaker Argyro Nicolaou, Yemeni American visual artist, writer and musician Ibi Ibrahim, Iranian interdisciplinary artist Tara Homasi, visual artists and anthropologists Margaux Fitoussi and Myriam Amri, and the trio of Anooj Bhandari, Chan Lin (Gallatin ‘13), and Val Ramirez, who are members of the New York Neo-Futurists.
Miller and Evangelou began collaborating on the exhibition when Evangelou was a Gallatin Global Faculty in Residence during the 2021-22 academic year. Central to the project is the opening event on May 31 from 6:30-9 p.m. It features a performance by Bhandari, Lin, and Ramirez, followed by a highly-structured roundtable discussion with the artists, curators and special guests.
The opening event, along with the exhibition’s two interactive works, emphasizes the curators’ focus on active participation by shifting the visitor experience from only observational to experiential., Evangelou explained. For example, Nicolaou talks directly to visitors in her video, sharing objects connected to her family's displacement and her own migration to the U.S. In their piece, Bhandari, Lin, and Ramirez ask visitors to listen, observe and even act based on their video and audio prompts.
“The curation proposes a more active and dialogue-based approach to attending an exhibition,” Evangelou said, adding that this approach begins with the opening performance by Bhandari, Lin, and Ramirez. “They connect their installation work to their performance work, which offers another way of understanding the exhibition as a whole. The performance is followed by a 'fishbowl' discussion, in which guests from Gallatin and the community are invited to start a conversation around the topic, a discussion that everyone in the audience can participate in.
“The principle is the overall democratization of the gallery experience, and of diaspora experience as well,” she said.
Diasporic Tremors is on view Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1 Washington Pl (and Broadway) in Greenwich Village.
About Gallatin Galleries
Housed in New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Gallatin Galleries showcases innovative and immersive work that blends multiple forms of artistic practice with themes that encompass economic, racial, and social justice. Founded in 2008 and curated by Keith Miller, the Galleries are home to complex and compelling displays that integrate video, photography, sound, painting, and sculpture, illuminating the work of both up-and-coming and established artists while reflecting the interdisciplinary academic mission of the Gallatin School. For more information, please visit https://wp.nyu.edu/gallatingalleries/.