Reflections of New Minnesotans: Artist Robert Karimi on shape-shifting identities


Robert Karimi, an interdisciplinary artist and activist, uses his Iranian/Guatemalan heritage as a background for his artistic expression in poetry, storytelling, visual and performance art to explore what he calls “sampled consciousness”. Karimi is currently an artist-in-residency at Intermedia Arts in South Minneapolis. 

How do we “shape-shift” our identities, not just as immigrants, but as people occupying multiple spaces? How do we negotiate with our multiple identities?

Piles of Rice (spoken word piece created by Karimi as an Intermedia Arts resident)

Kaotic Good (Karimi’s website)

The Cooking Show (still a work-in-progress, but find details and recipes on the innovative show where art, culture and food intersect)

On July 27th (7pm), Karimi will host a community pot-luck, with a twist at Intermedia Arts.

Artists, and writers, many times have a platform to show how current events affect their daily lives; and Karimi does just that with the Iranian hostage crisis and the days following 9/11. How does he marry, not only his ethnic diversity, but also his Catholic and Muslim identities? Listen to the show to hear him perform and discuss some of these pieces. 

What about food and identity? And using food to learn about each other’s cultures. Karimi says its not enough to just go an ethnic restaurant. With this project, Diabetes of Democracy, Karimi would like to encourage healthy conscious eating.

“What are other ways we cook or don’t cook? What are other more figurative ways we eat?” I began to think about how we are such an eater culture more than a cooking culture. We consume pop culture or news or the internet or TV much more than we create things.

[Audio below]