Baraye Azadi (For Freedom) in Conversation with Tannaz Farsi, Taravat Talepasand and Dr. Jordan Amirkhani

May 21, 2023 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Fields Sunken Ballroom
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Join us for a conversation with Iranian-American artists Tannaz Farsi and Taravat Talepasand with art historian and curator, Dr. Jordan Amirkhani.

In recent months, Iranian citizens have been risking their lives and protesting the nation’s authoritarian regime, awakened by the nightmare of the killing of Mahsa Amini, a 21 year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for “improper hijab” and beaten to death by the morality police, a Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In these past several months, protests have grown as the movement “Woman, Life, Freedom” has been swelling across the world and flourishing through the expression of art.

Baraye in Farsi means “for” or “because of” and Shervin Hajipour’s song has become the anthem for this protest movement and has also inspired the title of this conversation.

With special thanks to Outlet PDX for providing the production of risographs on various social justice protest posters that Farsi and Talepasand have collected and archived as gifts for the attendees to take with them. 

This program is supported by the Northwest Art Council at the Portland Art Museum.

Tannaz Farsi’s configurations of objects and images address the complicated networks around the conception of memory, history, and geography. Drawing from cultural objects, feminist histories, and theories of displacement evidenced by long-standing colonialist and authoritarian interventions into daily life, her project-based works propose a different means of representation regarding non-western subjects and objects that obstruct singular and conventional means of identification.

Her work has been exhibited at venues including SFAC Galleries, San Francisco; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland; Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma; the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids; Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington; and The Sculpture Center, Cleveland. She has been granted residencies at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the MacDowell Colony, and the Rauschenberg Foundation among others. Her work has been supported through grants and awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, University of Oregon, the Ford Family Foundation and the Bonnie Bronson Fund. Farsi lives and works in Eugene, where she is on the faculty at the University of Oregon and co-chair of the Sculpture program.

Taravat Talepasand is an artist, activist, and educator whose labor-intensive interdisciplinary painting practice questions normative cultural behaviors within contemporary power imbalances. As an Iranian-American woman, Talepasand explores the cultural taboos that reflect on gender and political authority. Her approach to figuration reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our Western Society.

Taravat Talepasand has exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, Tufts University, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art. Exhibitions included In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in the 2018 Bay Area Now 8 exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, the 2010 California Biennial, and was the recipient of the 2010 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship. She is a featured artist in Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi. Taravat was the Department Chair of Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and currently lives in Oregon and is the Assistant Professor of Art Practice at Portland State University School of Art + Design. Taravat received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006

Dr. Jordan Amirkhani is Deputy Director and Curator of Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought—a non-profit organization based in New Orleans, Louisiana committed to research and publishing, exhibitions and convenings on art of the global diaspora. Prior to taking on these roles, Amirkhani was a Professorial Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at American University in Washington, DC from 2018-2021.

Recent curatorial projects include Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul, co-curated with Andrea Andersson and Essence Harden for Art + Practice in Los Angeles; Troy Montes Michie: Rock of Eye, co-curated with Andrea Andersson and Taylor Renee Aldridge for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston; Yto Barrada: Ways to Baffle the Wind, co-curated with Andrea Andersson for MASS MoCA; and the 2021 Atlanta Biennial: Of Care and Destruction for the Atlanta Contemporary. She is currently at work on a posthumous retrospective of the visual and performance artist Tina Girouard set to open at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans in Spring 2024.

Amirkhani has written scholarship and essays on the work of contemporary artists such as Helen Cammock, Wendy Red Star, Sheida Soleimani, Soheila Sokhanvari, Vesna Pavlović, and the British collective Art + Practice, and her work has been featured in many national and international publications, including: The Paris Review Daily, Artforum, Art in America, Baltimore Arts, Boston Art Review, X-Tra, and Her emphasis on contextualizing contemporary art and artists working in the American South garnered her a prestigious Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation “Short-Form” Writing Grant in 2017 and three nominations for The Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism in 2017, 2018, and 2019.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Woman Life Freedom, neon installation, 2023 by Taravat Talepasand
Woman Life Freedom, neon installation, 2023 by Taravat Talepasand