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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Laleh Mehran

The Interstitium


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Laleh Mehran constructs elaborate artworks focused on complex, often disavowed relationships between politics, religion, and science. Mehran calls attention to these tacit connections while raising the question of our personal relation to each of these essential frameworks.

The Interstitium immerses the viewer in a space both familiar and distant where Boroosh (ancient Persian for "glimmer of light") have emerged from the surfaces. The Boroosh are interconnected, and when they sense your presence, they yearn to make connections with you. Other surfaces are portals that converge and extend the search for meaning into the infinite. From the sides of the void, sparks become light, and from that energy, stories emerge.

Performing those stories around a fire was how history was shared for tens of thousands of years, with each person changing the tale to suit their message. We still share stories because they serve as connective threads, telling us who we are, how we should act, and what to believe.

Curated by Adam Welch


Artists in Residence: September 21, 2018 - July 28, 2019
About The Artist

Laleh Mehran is an Iranian-American artist based in Denver, Colorado. Her work explores issues around dissent and exile and often includes sophisticated electronic elements. Mehran received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Electronic Time-Based Media and is now a Professor in the Emergent Digital Practices program at the University of Denver. Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively around the U.S. and internationally.

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