Inherent Control Cyphers – Opens August 8

Main Gallery
August 8 – December 3, 2017

Drawing on the visual languages of Middle-Eastern and European cultures, artist Laleh Mehran creates a room-sized immersive and interactive multimedia installation. This installation invites viewers to consider the process in which we form our identities, ideologies, and allegiances and the rituals we perform to sustain them.

The images and materials of this work, the space of the installation, and its interactive behavior all offer different ways to model the formation of power structures. The arabesques, the tulip motif, and the heraldic crests comprise images that have been used to define historic ancestral identities from across the Middle East and Europe. The position of the viewer in the space, outside the small cube but inside the larger cube of the gallery, prompts us to consider the inside/outside binary that defines so many ideologies and identities. The projected avatars respond to the viewers’ presence and movement in the gallery, signaling our relationship to the Other. Lastly, the viewer is invited to partake of an elemental resource of the exhibition in a social affirmation ritual (please see the Museum Guide.)

This work invokes the history of art as well as global culture, from the participatory interactions of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ works to Shirin Neshat’s use of the confrontational gaze. This work reveals the shared language of material, objects, ritual, and images to art and to cultural identity. Bringing together these relevant social themes and artistic references, this works seems to ask whether identity, ideology, and allegiance are ultimately aesthetic choices.

Related Events:

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, September 6, 7pm
Samek Gallery, top floor, Elaine Langone Center

Join us in celebrating the opening of Inherent Control Cyphers and the beginning of the new semester.

Artist’s Talk:
Friday, October 20, 6-8pm
Gallery Theater, top floor, Elaine Langone Center

The Samek Art Museum will welcome artist Laleh Mehran to our main gallery where she will unpack the depth of history and research behind her immersive, multimedia installation Inherent Control Cyphers. A reception in our main gallery will follow.

Laleh Mehran, Inherent Control Cyphers.

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Gallery Locations

The Samek Gallery
3rd Floor, Elaine Langone Center
Bucknell University

The Downtown Gallery
416 Market Street
Lewisburg, PA 17837