Taraneh Hemami

Visual Arts, 2012

Taraneh Hemami was raised in Tehran, Iran, and lives in San Francisco. In her work, she engages diverse strategies including installation and media productions as well as collective and participatory projects to explore themes of displacement, preservation and representation. Examining the careful crafting of images as propaganda for power and political gain, Taraneh’s handcrafted reproductions of historical archives serve to commemorate events, places and people, while commenting on tools of manipulation and persuasion used across nations and histories. Her sources vary from fuzzy images of international terrorists downloaded from an U.S. governmental site for an examination of perception and stereotyping in the Most Wanted series to a collection of banned books and propaganda of the Iranian underground movement that describe the Iranian revolution in the Theory of Survival project. Taraneh’s conceptually driven works shift in material and presentation from shimmering shattered glass prayer rugs to a laser-cut wool carpet map of the city of Tehran.

Awards and Accomplishments

2016: Taraneh Hemami publishes Bulletin: A Timeline of Contemporary History of Iran. A Theory of Survival publication, Bulletin explores the intersections between contemporary Iran and the world by engaging with an archive of publications and documents belonging to the library of Iranian Students Association of Northern California (1964-1982), now held at the Library of Congress. Hemami's Creative Capital project "Theory of Survival" invites artists, scholars and audiences to engage with archives of dissent of pre- and post-Iranian revolution. Bulletin publication was produced as part of Taraneh Hemami's residency and in collaboration with The Arts at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies).


Walter and Lewis Haas Fund commissions Hemami to create a piece for The West Wall project.


Taraneh Hemami receives San Francisco Arts Commission's Individual Artist Award for her Creative Capital project Fabrications: Theory of Survival.


Taraneh Hemami organizes Fabrications at Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco.


Taraneh Hemami presents Resistance at Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco


Hemami receives Cal Humanities' Community Stories grant from for her residency project Theory of Survival at the California Institute for Integral Studies