Basket woven by Linda Yamane | Still from Artbound "Art of Basket Weaving" AB s9

Fleeing the Rose Garden: Marjan K. Vayghan Creates Safe Spaces in Los Angeles

Marjan K. Vayghan's "Legacy Crates," a series of transformed art shipping crates, symbolizes her journey from Iran, the land of her ancestry, and her transcultural life and identity in the U.S.

Vayghan's project was based on trauma too. Since her family moved to the US, they have returned every summer to Iran. In recent years, Vayghan had been using her trips back to Tehran to explore her creativity, work with artists there and curate exhibitions that introduced foreign artists' works to Iranians. On August 5, 2009, she was driving to an art gallery in Tehran with her partner when suddenly a man outside the car started yelling at them. He pulled her out of the car and took her away for interrogation. She was interrogated at length by strangers, who undoubtedly worked for the government. Her eyes well up as she describes how, after several rounds of interrogation, verbal abuse and separation from her loved ones, she almost longed for death to come. "I just wanted to see a loved one's eyes one more time before I died." She was released early the next morning, and though she was never actually accused of a specific crime, she fears what might happen to her if she were to return to Iran. Just two days after her kidnapping, she attended the funeral of a childhood friend who was murdered.

Vayghan was profoundly traumatized. After returning to the US, she spent two years hiding inside her closet reading and "geeking out" learning about art theory and poetry. She filled her closet with Persian carpets and cushions, creating a safe, womb-like place of beauty and art to help her heal. Making art also helped her numb the pain. When a local artist gave her several shipping crates he no longer needed, she realized that she could use them to create similar safe places to share with others. "The Breaking the Lass series," she explains, "is about turning fear and anxiety into a therapeutic, creative means of expression." She invites participation. "Sometimes I kidnap people," she explains. "After they have spent time in the crate, they come out feeling happier, not traumatized. I wish I could send a crate to everyone."

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright In Los Angeles

During his time spent in Southern California in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Frank Lloyd Wright accelerated the search for an authentic L.A. architecture that was suitable to the city's culture and landscape. Writer/Director Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, explores the houses the legendary architect built in Los Angeles. The documentary also delves into the critic's provocative theory that these homes were also a means of artistic catharsis for Wright, who was recovering from a violent tragic episode in his life.

  • 2018-10-16T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-17T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-20T15:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-21T10:00:00-07:00
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Desert X

The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations scattered throughout Coachella Valley. Art includes Will Boone’s “Monument,” an underground bunker off Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage and Phillip K. Smith III’s “Circle of Land and Sky” in Palm Desert. Desert X is a site-specific biennial exhibition that first took place in the spring of 2017 where artists from different parts of the world were invited to create work in response to the unique conditions of the Coachella Valley

  • 2018-10-23T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-24T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-27T15:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-28T10:00:00-07:00
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Electric Earth: The Art of Doug Aitken

This episode profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. In his newest piece, “Underwater Pavilions,” he creates a conversation with the viewer to become fully present and immersed in the sea.

  • 2018-10-30T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-10-31T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-11-03T15:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-11-04T09:00:00-08:00
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  • 2018-11-04T19:00:00-08:00
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Variedades: Olvera Street

This look at Los Angeles’ Olvera Street is part-history lesson and part-immersion in stereotype of the birthplace of Los Angeles. Emmy® award-winning journalist, author and musician Rubén Martínez, explores the sometimes-violent, 200-year struggle for the political and symbolic control of the city as told in “Variedades” — an interdisciplinary performance series that brings together music, spoken word, theater, comedy and the visual arts, loosely based on the Mexican vaudeville shows of early-20th century Los Angeles.

  • 2018-11-06T13:00:00-08:00
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  • 2018-11-07T19:00:00-08:00
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  • 2018-11-10T14:00:00-08:00
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  • 2018-11-11T09:00:00-08:00
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  • 2018-11-11T19:00:00-08:00
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La Raza

In East Los Angeles during the late 1960s and 1970s, a group of young activists used creative tools like writing and photography as a means for community organizing, providing a platform for the Chicano Movement in the form of the bilingual newspaper/magazine La Raza. In the process, the young activists became artists themselves and articulated a visual language that shed light on the daily life, concerns and struggles of the Mexican-American experience in Southern California and provided a voice to the Chicano Rights Movement.

  • 2018-11-13T13:00:00-08:00
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