Untitled, digital image, 2002 Courtesy of the artist.

Project Room No. 2: Azadeh Tajpour

Project Room No. 2: Azadeh Tajpour

October 8—November 12 ● Wednesday—Saturday | 1–6pm
BCA Mills Gallery, 551 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116

This is the second show in Boston Center for the Arts’ Project Room Exhibition Series at the Mills Gallery, which features work by BCA Studio Residency Artists, artists who have studios and are part of a three-year residency in our Artist Studios Building.

This multi-media installation is based on a real incident that took place at the Haskell Free Library, which straddles the US-Canadian border, in Rock Island, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont. Because visitors from both countries were allowed on the premises, during 2017-2019 the library became a meeting place for Iranian families divided by borders and the Muslim ban. In September of 2019, I accompanied a friend to meet her family there.

This installation is based on camera footage that documents an encounter with the US border patrolman in front of the library, while he was preventing my friend’s family from meeting inside the library.  Each piece in this installation represents a part of that footage. While the officer’s voice is a reminder of the violence experienced every day by millions of people,  the voice of a Canadian woman who was able to pass the patrol officer and enter the library without being stopped or questioned reflects our obliviousness in regard to the privileges that we take for granted.

In breaking the linear status of the narrative, each piece presents a unique perspective. The passage through different media enables an immersive experience and exploration of the lenses through which we look at “others”, exploring the gray area and the shifting borders between “us” and “other.” The line, marked by the tape on the floor, reflects the arbitrariness of what we consider “inside” and “outside” and urges us to be conscious of  our own positionality in regard to the geopolitical divides.

Public Programs

Public Reception

Friday, October 7 | 6–9pm

During the public reception for Project Room No. 2: Azadeh Tajpour, visitors will also be able to see Anukriti: A Temple for Timeless Beasts  in the main gallery space. And as an additional treat, the BCA Artist Studios Building will be able open for exploration. Visit any and all four floors next door and visit some BCA studio residents and their studios. Please RSVP. 

Artist Dialogue

Friday, October 21 | 6–7pm

To provide context and invite discussion about her Mills Gallery exhibition Project Room No. 2: Azadeh Tajpour, the artist will be in conversation with Fatemeh Moghaddam, introduced by BCA Director of Visual Arts Randi Hopkins. Azadeh Tajpour’s installation focuses on their experiences, in 2019, at the Haskell Free Library, which is situated on the US/Canadian border and became a meeting place for Iranian families divided by borders and the Muslim ban since 2017. In light of the ongoing protests in Iran, Azadeh and Fatemeh also talk about “Women, Life, Freedom” and the intersectional leadership of Iranian women.

 Join us at the BCA Mills Gallery on Friday Oct 21, 6-7pm. This event is free with a confirmed RSVP. Refreshments will be provided.


About the Artist

Azadeh Tajpour is a multidisciplinary artist born in Tehran and based in Boston. She is a current Studio Resident at Boston Center for the Arts, and a recipient of the Artist Resource Trust Fund award from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists, Somerville Art Council, and Armory Center for the Art Fellowships, The Studios at Mass MoCA, Virginia Center for the Arts, Playa, Boston Center for the Arts, the Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec, Art Omi, and PLAYA Artist Residencies. She has exhibited in Boston, Los Angeles, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Iran. Her documentary Film has been screened at the Harvard Art Museums, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT, and at the Islamic Civilizations and Societies Programs, Boston College.