Katayoun Arian is a curator, writer/researcher, as well as organizer and DJ with a background in art and new media theory, sociology, and anthropology. She has worked across different sites of the cultural and creative industry including various international contemporary art institutions and educational institutions in the past sixteen years. With an interest circulating within visual arts, new media, music, and socio-political histories, the red thread in her interdisciplinary practice is best described as an orientation towards different ways of knowing, sensing, and being while drawing on feminist, queer, and decolonial philosophies as foundational principles.
Her projects range from exhibitions, discursive events, mixtapes, screenings, reading circles, and other forms of interdisciplinary and collaborative work. Themes inherent in her work often deal with sound and listening, archives, migration, decolonial inquiry, and diasporic imaginaries. Her artistic interests are informed by the complex interplays between historical narratives and events, and contemporary discourses and alternative models of presentation. Through her work, her aim is to engender new ways of looking at the deep entanglements between art, labour, society, and its institutions and the ways in which all of the residues of the encounter between them are registered in the context of cultural and historical narration.
Recent curatorial projects include the group exhibition Who Wants to Live in a World Without Magic? (Tent, Rotterdam, 2021), The Travelling Hand (Tent, Rotterdam, 2020), First Things First and Grada Kilomba: Illusions (Melly Art Institute, Rotterdam, 2017), I Speak in Tongues (37PK, Haarlem, 2017) and Voices Outside the Echo Chamber: Questioning Myths, Facts and Framings of Migration, (Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2016), The End of This Story and the Beginning of All Others (Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2015).
Katayoun studied BA in Art History (2008), and MA’s in Comparative Arts and Media Studies, and in Culture, Organization and Management (2017). In 2018/2019, she was a research fellow at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht.