October 6 – November 19, 2011, IDEA Space

Employing the dual translation of the Persian word, Parvana explores the multiple aesthetic, scientific, and literary understandings of moths and butterflies. Featuring artworks by Joseph Scheer, Rebecca DiDomenico, John Buck, and Suzanne Anker, a performance by Eiko & Koma, and specimens from natural history collections, Parvana examines the intersections between scientific and artistic modes of investigation. Parvana is part of Cross-Pollination a larger, community wide project about art insects, and community-based collaborations.

Joseph Scheer

The Persian term parvana is frequently translated as “butterfly,” but in Indo-Persian/Arabic poetic usage, it almost always refers to the obsessed lover; literally, the moth, parvana attracted to the flame shama. Employing the dual translation of the Persian word, the exhibition Parvana explores the multiple aesthetic, scientific, and literary understandings of moths and butterflies.

Featuring visual artists Joseph Scheer, Suzanne Anker, Rebecca DiDomenico, and John Buck, a collection of entomological  specimens, and a performance by Eiko & Koma, Parvana seeks to uncover the intersections between scientific and artistic modes of investigation. Rather than using the arts as an illustration of scientific study, the exhibition examines how a synthesis of creative expression and scientific methodology can result in a deeper understanding of a subject. Through visual arts, performance, discussion, and presentations, Parvana explores how scientific and aesthetic approaches can combine to enhance our understandings of a subject.

Blurring the boundaries between art and science, Joseph Scheer uses a high-resolution digital scanner designed for scientific research to enlarge moth specimens many times their orginal size, revealing their often-obscured beauty. Inspired by the visual similarity between the dual lobes of the brain and the symmetry of the butterfly,  Suzanne Anker’s MRI Butterfly series associates the two with enchanting results. Rebecca DiDomenico creates artworks made from butterflies that poignantly capture the evanescence typically associated with the insect. John Buck’s prints evoke the moth’s mystery and multi-cultural symbolism. MacArthur Genius Award winners Eiko & Koma have developed a unique blend of modern dance, performance art, video, and costume design that transcends genre or discipline.

Rebecca DiDomenico


Parvana Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 6, 4 – 6:30pm, Parvana Opening ReceptionIDEA Cabaret: The Lepidopterans: The Art & Science of Moths and Butterflies, free.

  • 4:00 – 5:00 Alex Vargo & Corinne Scheiner: Nabakov’s Butterflies, CAC Film Screening Room
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Art/Science Panel Discussion with Alex Vargo, Joseph Scheer, Rebecca DiDomenico, and Eiko & Koma, IDEA Space.   Reception to follow.

Sunday, October 9, 3pm, Delicious Movement Workshop with Eiko & Koma
Cossitt Gym, free. Presented in collaboration with Imagination Celebration.

Friday, October 14, 7pm, Regeneration a performance by Eiko & Koma featuring Raven, Night Tide, and White Dance (Moth)
Cornerstone Arts Center Richard F. Celeste Theatre, free
Reception and book signing at IDEA Space with Eiko & Koma immediately following the performance. Presented by IDEA and The Colorado College Drama and Dance Department and sponsored by the Virginia Darnes Yates Endowment. Tickets required; available at Worner Center on the CC campus. For information call 719-389-6606.

Friday, October 21, 1pm, Eiko & Koma: Dance for Film Screening and Artist Talk
CAC Film Screening Room, free. Book signing at IDEA Space to follow.

Tuesday, November 1, 4:30pm: IDEA Cabaret: Spooky Spiders, Massive Moths: Bugs in Film
CAC Film Screening Room, free.

Friday, November 4, 12:30pm, IDEA Cabaret: How Bugs Breathe
Lecture and Demonstration by Emilie Gray, Assistant Professor of Biology at Colorado College, IDEA Space, free.

Tuesday, November 8, 4pm IDEA Cabaret: Artist/Naturalist
By Assistant Professor of History, Jane Murphy and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Marion Hourdequin, IDEA Space, free.

During the exhibition, tune into the Morning Mix with Vicky on KRCC 91.5 FM for a butterfly or moth-related song of the day.

Sponsored by: The President’s Circle, the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund, the Virginia Darnes Yates Endowment, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant “Art in the Liberal Arts”