Ashkan Sepahvand, a Berlin based American-Iranian artist and art historian, utilized his two month residency to teach a class at the Palestinian Art Academy in Ramallah. His workshop, "The Angel of History", based on a discussion of Walter Benjamin's "On the Concept of History", addressed the following questions: Is it possible to present a historical landscape in which the experiences of the downtrodden co-exist spatially and emporally, with the experiences of the victors, who never cease to blindly proclaim their singular, “historical” accomplishments? and What does it mean to disappear, only to be found again as a broken image, an incomplete reference, a story stopped short, a gesture that carries the burden of enduring the present?
Ashkan also used his time to prepare for the 2012 Jerusalem Show: Gestures in Time.
Ashkan Sepahvand was born in 1984 and works as a translator, editor and artistic researcher in Berlin. He has spent a few months in Damascus amongst artists, tourists, and secret agents in a temporarily utopian commune, a summer in Tehran where he fell in love, a year in Beirut where he stared at the sea, thought of comings and goings, someones and no ones, and an autumn in Berlin, collaborating with his dearest friend Natascha on a schoolbook. He and his loved ones search together for places to spend the night, way stations en route between here and there. Currently, he is watching the people, listening for echoes, relaying transmitted signals and sensing that his body provides all the resistance necessary.
Publications include seeing studies, co-edited with Natascha Sadr Haghighian for the institute for incongruous translation and produced by dOCUMENTA (13) with Casco: Office for Art, Design and Theory (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2011), then we went to search of somewhere to stay the night (Sharjah: Sharjah Art Foundation, 2011). He has lectured and taught at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY), International Academy of Art Palestine (Ramallah), National Gallery of Afghanistan (Kabul) and the Umeå Art Academy.