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Filling the Void: Confronting Ableism in the Art Space

August 22, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - September 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm PDT

A flyer for the event with a bright yellow background and green text that reads "Filing the Void: Confronting Ableism in the Art Space."

Artist Panteha Abareshi confronts the complex systems of ableism that operate within the art space. With two consecutive sessions in the Field Workshop, Abareshi will foster a much-needed dialogue around misunderstandings of the disabled body and its exclusion in cultural spaces. She will begin with presentations from the disabilities perspective and open up the discussion.

August 22: Abareshi examines accessibility in museums to discuss the prevalence of ableism in the architecture, curation, and critical discussions of contemporary art that affirm prevailing systems of inequity. What does accessibility truly look like in the art space? Where is change immediately possible through programs, education, and language? How does one reverse the resistance to and ignorance around disabilities in the cultural landscape?
On-site attendance, please RSVP for Aug 22
Virtual attendance, use the Google Meet Link for Aug 22: https://meet.google.com/pjx-bpvi-jok

August 23: Abareshi opens the discussion of disability in art practices and the importance of the embodied disabled experience. The audience will be introduced to the work of several ill/disabled artists as well as Abareshi’s own work which addresses ableism. How are able-bodied artists and the art world perpetuating an erasure of artists and audiences with disabilities?
On-site attendance, please RSVP for Aug 23
Virtual attendance, use theGoogle Meet Link Aug 23: https://meet.google.com/pjx-bpvi-jok

Participation is welcomed and greatly encouraged. 15 seats will be available within the physical space at ICA LA and additional access will be available online via Google Meet.

This program will have Closed Captioning and will be recorded. The artist and ICA LA would like to share the recording of the sessions online as an archive and educational resource for others. The events are held with a teleconferencing platform (similar to Zoom). If you would like to maintain your privacy, please turn off your video camera and change/remove any digital name tags. Questions may be asked using the microphone and the system’s chat box.

If you have RSVP’d to attend in-person, here is info for your visit:
ICA LA is following city, state, and federal health guidelines. Your safety and that of fellow visitors and staff are of utmost importance.

You will be checked in starting 15 minutes prior to the workshop. Wear your own mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. You will not be allowed to participate without wearing a mask. The museum will provide the following: a face shield, gloves, and hand sanitizer. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned before and after each workshop.

Please do not plan to come to the museum if you have a fever, cough, or respiratory illness. Anyone exhibiting signs of illness will not be permitted entry.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Panteha Abareshi‘s work is rooted in her existence as a chronically ill/disabled body existing with multiple medical illnesses, at the root of which is sickle cell zero beta thalassemia—a genetic blood disorder that causes debilitating pain, and bodily deterioration that both increase with age. Through her work, she aims to discuss the complexities of living within a body that is highly monitored, constantly examined, and made to feel like a specimen. Taking images that are recognizable as “human” forms and reducing them to the gestural is a juxtaposition of her own body’s objectification, and dissection. Through her performance work, she pushes her body to, and often beyond, the limits of its ability. The radicalized abjectification of her own corporeal form allows for a continued examination of her bodily deterioration, and its connection to a larger context of universal fragility fear, pain and mortality. In her video work and installations, she aims to make the viewer hyper-aware of their own body and actively employ accessibility as a tool, both withholding and over-extending it as a means of casting light onto the ill/disabled experience. With every piece, her practice traces and documents her body’s malfunction, and its disintegration. With this deterioration comes implantation of medical devices, prosthetics, and the use of mobility aids. Her body is the primary medium in her practice, and these materials become vital to the visual language of her work. Currently, she is contemplating the prosthesis, and simultaneous abstraction and mechanization of the fundamentally inorganic “body.”


August 22, 2020 @ 3:30 pm PDT
September 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm PDT
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Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
1717 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021 United States
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BIPOC artist(s), Women artist(s)
Event Type
Museum, Lectures & Panels