Siah Armajani

A Bridge Divides, A Bridge Transforms

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - Sunday, September 12, 2021

“A bridge divides what is “above” the bridge, what is “below” the bridge, what is “before” the bridge and what is “after” the bridge, but at the same time it brings totality and turns it into a neighborhood.”
– Siah Armajani

In 1960, at the urging of his family, Siah Armajani (Iranian American, 1939-2020) left his native Iran for the United States, landing in St. Paul where his uncle taught at Macalester College. The artist was an activist at a time of political upheaval in his native country and, for him, immigration was a political act.

The installation in this rotunda celebrates an important facet of Armajani’s career: the act of bridging. Ironically, bridges emphasize divisions even as they create connections. As an immigrant, Armajani understood his status as a metaphorical bridge between two cultures, and between two locations. For Armajani, the questions of citizenship and culture are deeply embedded in his works.