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Poetry is Not a Luxury: Artist Talk with Joyce Dallal and Maymanah Farhat
August 22, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Joyce Dallal is an artist who works in a variety of media. The themes that surface in Dallal’s
artwork are those of collective and personal history, community, memory, and the evolution of contemporary cultural identity. A first-generation Iraqi-Jewish American born in Indiana to parents from Baghdad, both her personal work and public art are informed by the experience of
navigating and integrating these various identities.
Dallal is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, among them a National Endowment for the Arts Regional Arts Fellowship in Photography, a Brody Arts Fellowship, and a City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and her
temporary and permanent public art projects have been commissioned by the Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles Public Libraries, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She received her MFA from the University of Southern California, and is a professor at El Camino College in Southern California.
Maymanah Farhat is a writer and curator working between New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing appears in a variety of publications, most recently Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art, eds. Amy Gansell and Ann Shafer, Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2019).
Her current curatorial projects are Poetry Is Not a Luxury, and History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul (Fall 2019).
Poetry is Not a Luxury is titled after Audre Lorde’s 1977 essay on the intersections of creativity and activism that were not only essential to her own work but to a diverse group of feminist thinkers at the time. Recognizing that both creative work and activism are driven by subjectivity, Lorde argues that for women poetry is not a luxury but a vital necessity, as it provides a framework through which survival and the desire for change can be articulated, conceptualized, and transformed into meaningful action. Poetry is Not a Luxury features artists who approach book arts in a similar way, namely as experimental media that foreground subjectivity and lend to intimate aesthetic experiences with the aim of drawing attention to sociopolitical issues.
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ Visual Arts Program is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.