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Pedram Baldari joins Stamps as Assistant Professor

Headshot of Pedram Baldari in front of natural landscape.

The Stamps School of Art & Design is excited to introduce Assistant Professor Pedram Baldari, an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and architect from the City of Sine (Sanandaj) located in Rojhelat (Kurdistan region in Iran), to its faculty.

Baldari received a BA in Architecture from the University of Tehran in 2005 and his MFA in Studio Art at Texas Tech University in 2015. He bases his work on site-specific installation, performance art, social practice, and sculpture.

Baldari’s work is an interdisciplinary approach invested in transcontinental and intersectional indigenous methods of making, creating, living, and community building facing different modes of colonialism. He incorporates his Kurdish background, rethinking the different modes of indigenous art practices – a concept that will play a role as he relocates to Michigan.

A big part of my work is focused on statelessness,” Baldari said. Working in Michigan will play a large role in my work. There are a lot of conversations and connections that allow me to look at Kurdish history through Michigan’s history of colonization and decolonization.”

Baldari’s often three-dimensional art pushes the boundaries of traditional artistic forms, from creating musical instruments out of decommissioned firearms to crafting soundscapes based on environmental pollution. 

Variations of Sounds, Traveling Between a Barrel and a Heart” by Pedram Baldari

His ongoing multimedia performance and installation, Variations of Sounds, Travelling Between a Barrel and a Heart,” is one example of Baldari’s interdisciplinary approach. Through a Gun Buy Back program in Minneapolis, Baldari acquired gun parts decommissioned by the Minneapolis Police Department. Baldari began to convert firearms into wind instruments – bridging the wars befallen upon his people and gun violence in the U.S.

I do a lot of work around the idea of sound as a visual element, from the sonification of data to generating or creating musical instruments or musical installations based on histories of colonization, war, displacement, immigration, and more. My home base is three-dimensional practices,” Baldari said. 

Mirror sculpture at the edge of a mountain
The Heart of a Mountain” by Pedram Baldari. 

Land Art Sculpture, Site Specific, temporary installation, 2022, Hawraman, Rojhelat Kurdistan (Kurdistan region of Iran). Mirror, Steel, Wood 4x16’. 7000’ altitude at north west of Sine (Sanandaj).

Baldari says that his projects are collaborative. He often works with physicists, computer scientists, electronic engineers, sound engineers, indigenous organizations, environmental justice organizations, and more. Baldari says that Stamps is an ideal fit for his line of work. 

Stamps is established to support cutting-edge or field-defining research amongst its faculty. The way I look at interdisciplinary art and design doesn’t impose any kind of scope, forms of praxis, or research,” Baldari said.

Baldari’s contributions to the art world have garnered recognition and accolades. He has been featured in numerous national and international solo and group art exhibitions since 2010, such as Victoria and Albert Museum London 2012, Documenta 13th Video Import-Export program, Video Nomad Tokyo 2015, Art Basel Basel Switzerland 2014, and shown work across the U.S. in museums and galleries. He has been selected to art residencies internationally. He has had group art exhibitions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, and The U.S. He is the recipient of the 2012 Magic of Persia and Delfina Foundation Award, Jerome Fellowship Commission for Franconia Sculpture Park 2017, Vermont Studio Center Award 2015 – 2020, StarDust Fund for his fellowship and art residency at Weisman Art Museum, and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship at MacDowell in 2021. Baldari is the 2023 Berlin’s BBA international Artist Prize Awardee.

Looking ahead to his role at Stamps, Baldari hopes to incorporate his international experience and diverse conversations into the classroom.

I like to expose the students to diverse conversations in art-making,” Baldari said. I want to empower students to find the element that speaks to their soul and passion.” 

To learn more about Baldari’s practice, visit his portfolio at https://​www​.pedram​bal​dari​.com/.

Large red helium installation in an exhibition space.
Love Note to Liberty” 2019 by Pedram Baldari. Helium, Acrylic Balloon 10 feet in diameter, Key to the Statue of Liberty issued by the state of New York in 1925, yoke ring out of Caution tape and mixed media, Ceramic Tiles, and Iranian Calligraphy.