Art Past Present

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In order to understand the world, or at least to put it in perspective, we need reflection. We interpret the world by reviewing how it has been, how it might have been, how it could be. Understanding is comparing. Art, among many other things, can open up new perspectives. By shaping its own alternative reality, it implicitly or explicitly challenges the status quo. In times of radical change, perceived certainties reveal themselves as mere assumptions. It turns out that our interpretation of the world is not reality itself. However, such radical changes also allow for a sharper vision of possibilities and alternatives. In this discussion series, we invite artists to share their ideas about confronting the past to give meaning to the present, open up perspectives, and restore agency in times of irreconcilable alternative truths.

Hosted by Farrah Karapetian, artist, and writer, and Joes Segal, Chief Curator and Director of Programming at the Wende Museum.

Upcoming Program

Art Past Present with Vladislav Shapovalov
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
June 16, 2021, 12 p.m. PST
Zoom Webinar


Vladislav Shapovalov, Political Dreams (from the Image Diplomacy Project), 2018, framed archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth paper mounted on dibond.

Join us for the 10th and final Art Past Present with Vladislav Shapovalov, an artist and researcher living and working in Milan and Moscow. Shapovalov's practice includes the use of the exhibition as a medium for exploring entanglements between cultural artifacts, geopolitical configurations, and the notion of history. Recent works include his multi-year project Image Diplomacy which examines the use of “soft power” during the Cold War.

Free. RSVP Here.

Past Programs

Art Past Present with Enrique Martínez Celaya 
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
August 19, 2020

Enrique Martínez Celaya, El muelle (The Dock), 2013. Oil and wax on canvas. 116 x 150 in. Private collection, London, UK.


Join us for the 1st virtual Art Past Present with Enrique Martínez Celaya, artist, author, and former scientist. Martínez Celaya is Provost Professor of Humanities and Art, University of Southern California (USC), and Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College. His artwork has been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world. 


Art Past Present with Aneesa Shami
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Aneesa Shami, Baba's Goldmine, 2019, Reclaimed fabric applique. Photo by Cecily Brown.

Join us for the 2nd virtual Art Past Present with Aneesa Shami, Los Angeles-based textile artist and researcher whose work has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums. Shami is also the co-owner and director of Studio 203, an artist-run space in Los Angeles that collaborates with artists to create exhibitions and host workshops and performances.


Art Past Present with Ira Eduardovna
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Wednesday, October 14, 2020


On Foreign Made Soles, 2018, seven-channel video installation. 

Join us for the 3rd Art Past Present with artist Ira Eduardovna. Born in 1980 and raised in Uzbekistan in the former USSR until she immigrated to Israel in 1990. Eduardovna currently lives and works in New York.


Art Past Present with Mariam Ghani
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Join us for the 4th Art Past Present with Mariam Ghani–artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work looks at places, spaces, and moments where social, political, and cultural structures take on visible forms, and spans multiple disciplines.


Art Past Present with Sichong Xie
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Wednesday, December 16, 2020


Sichong Xie, Do Donkeys Know Politics, Scaffold Series I, 2020

Join us for the 5th Art Past Present with Sichong Xie–artist and cultural organizer. Her practice deals with issues of identity, politics, cross-culturalism, and the surreal characteristics of her body in the ever-changing environment. Her current body of work explores Chinese culture versus American culture, her female gender versus the patriarchy that is reflected in municipal sculptures in China, and Chinese Communist politics versus the “only one child” generations.


Art Past Present with Meleko Mokgosi
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 12 p.m. PST


Join us for the 6th Art Past Present with Meleko Mokgosi, artist and teacher. Mokgosi is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program. His work includes large-scale paintings that explore themes of colonialism, democracy, nationalism, and life in Southern Africa.


Art Past Present with Chelle Barbour
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 12 p.m. PST


Join us for the 7th Art Past Present with Chelle Barbour–curator, writer, and multimedia artist. While her initial foray into the arts began in theatre, Chelle's work has expanded into a fully engaged art practice of curating, writing, photography, digital video, collage, and painting. Chelle's artwork has been presented in solo and group art exhibitions, including Wende Museum exhibits Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art and The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain


Art Past Present with Ni Haifeng
Hosted by Katya Tylevich and Joes Segal
April 21, 2021, 12 p.m. PST


Ni Haifeng, Para-Production, 2012, work-in-progress, textile shreds, sewing machines, dimensions variable, installation view. Photo courtesy of the artist

Join us for the 8th Art Past Present with Ni Haifeng—a multimedia artist in China and the Netherlands whose practice stems from an interest in cultural systems of return, exchange, language and production, exploring the simultaneous creation and obliteration of meaning while drawing attention to the cyclical movement of people, products, and goods that are often reflective of patterns of colonialism and globalization.

Katya Tylevich is author of Art Oracles, Success Oracles, and co-author of My Life as a Work of Art. Her book Gus Van Sant: The Art of Making Movies is forthcoming October 2021 by Laurence King Publishers, and she is currently working on two large projects with Marina Abramović. With her brother Alexei, she co-founded Friend & Colleague, a platform for editions, fiction, and special projects. 


Art Past Present with Tara Pendeya
Hosted by Farrah Karapetian and Joes Segal
May 19, 2021, 12 p.m. PST


Join us for the 9th Art Past Present with Tara Pandeya, dancer, dance activist and bridge-building choreographer. Tara worked as a principal dancer with Cirque du Soleil, and balances her work as a dance practitioner with conducting dance research in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, East Turkestan, Pakistan, India, and Russia.


Special thanks to Susan Horowitz and Rick Feldman for generously supporting discussions at the Wende Museum and our current virtual programs