Vali Mahlouji is a London-based curator, founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade, independent advisor to the British Museum, and director of Kaveh Golestan Estate and Archives. Mahlouji’s recent work includes exhibitions at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Whitechapel Gallery, Photo London, Prince Claus Fund, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Art Dubai Modern, Bergen Triennial and Open Eye Gallery.
Vali Mahlouji founded the curatorial think tank Archaeology of the Final Decade (AOTFD), a non-profit organisation, which researches histories of nations condemned by social displacement, cultural annihilation or deliberate disappearance. AOTFD engages with accounts of culture, which have been lost through material destruction, acts of censorship, political, economic or human contingencies. The research identifies, investigates and re-circulates significant cultural and artistic materials that have remained obscure, under-exposed, endangered, banned or in some instances destroyed. AOTFD materials have been acquired by Tate Modern, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Smithsonian Institute and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Tate Modern is dedicating a room in its permanent collection – a first for an Iranian artist – for exhibiting materials from AOTFD project Recreating the Citadel alongside Kaveh Golestan’s Prostitute series from August 2017. AOTFD’s A Utopian Stage at Whitechapel Gallery was nominated for Best Exhibition (Alternative) 2015 by the Global Fine Arts Awards.
Upcoming projects include A Utopian Stage at Dhaka Arts Summit 2018.
Mahlouji has been published by various institutions, including, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Photo London, Encyclopædia Iranica, Columbia University, Asia Society Museum New York, The Abraaj Group Art Prize,Dubai; Darat al Funun, Amman; and Sharjah Biennial; City University New York.
Recent talks and lectures by Vali Mahlouji have taken place at Stanford University; Aalto University, Helsinki; Yale University; Goldsmiths University, London; City & Guilds School of Art, London; Bergen Assembly; Asia Society, New York; Iran Heritage Foundation, London; Kulturforum, Berlin; and Whitechapel Gallery, London, among others.
His upcoming titles Prostitute 1975-77 and Perspectives on the Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis are due in 2017.