divya mehra


Join us at A.I.R. for OLD NEWS / NEW RULES a screening and performance on Sunday, May 21st at 7:30 pm. Organized by Fellow Eleanor King, the event features artists Tiffany Joy Butler, Miatta Kawinzi, Shadi Harouni, Divya Mehra, Joiri Minaya and Elise Rasmussen.

OLD NEWS / NEW RULES is held in conjunction with King's A.I.R. Fellowship.

This event is cosponsored by LADIESKUNST intersectional feminist union. Join LADIESKUNST today!

Divya Mehra,  The Importance of Being Earnest , 2009, Video, color, stereo, 00:02:41. Image credit: Divya Mehra

Divya Mehra, The Importance of Being Earnest, 2009, Video, color, stereo, 00:02:41. Image credit: Divya Mehra


The videos and performances in OLD NEWS / NEW RULES present reframed narratives that question accepted notions of neutrality and upend common assumptions. The artists are front and center, often using their own bodies in the work. They defiantly tackle challenging content using humour, absurdity, and joy to expose and critique pressing issues.

Elise Rasmussen’s She Doesn't Get the Rules is a performance lecture that explores the role of the muse and questions whether the avant-garde can be considered radical under a patriarchal capitalist system. Channeling the surrealist technique of automatism, Rasmussen manually moves through more than 300 PowerPoint slides of imagery from pop culture and art history.

With a nod to Marina Abramovic’s performance Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful, Miatta Kawinzi's Art M.B.F. (Art Must Be Formal) is a playful/serious interrogation of formalism with the understanding that contemporary art codes are not neutral even when it is claimed otherwise.

In The Importance of Being Earnest, Divya Mehra presents a darkly humorous juxtaposition of her lip-synching Disney’s hit “A Whole New World” to a background of found photographic images that create an unsettling picture of a racist, unjust, and cruel society.

Tiffany Joy Butler's Culture Control: Exploring Another World concentrates on the beliefs of metaphysical experiences while reinterpreting primitiveness versus assimilation in our advanced and “evolved” society. When one describes the act of discovering another world, this new world is represented as the Other.

Siboney by Joiri Minaya documents the process of copying the tropical pattern of a found piece of fabric on a museum wall with juxtaposing subtitles. It explores the collection of the museum Centro León in Santiago, D.R., with focus on a painting by Vela Zanetti of a dancing mulatta. Minaya herself transforms the mural to the soundtrack of the song Siboney as adapted by Connie Francis.

Shadi Harouni's The Lightest of Stones was shot in an isolated black mountain pumice quarry in Iranian Kurdistan. The men in the film, whose own work at the quarry has been rendered profitless by the trade sanctions against Iran, critique and empathize with the artist’s futile attempt to carve through the mountain by hand, while also chatting about labor, ISIS, dragons, and Jennifer Lopez.