Alysse Stepanian (Iran)

Alysse Stepanian
media artist and curator

participant in
Curators Interview Project
VIP – VideoChannel Interview
VAD – Video Art Database
CologneOFF V – 5th Cologne Online Film Festival 2009

Born in Tehran, Iran, Alysse Stepanian moved to the US after the Revolution of 1979. Her most recent experimental video, “What Is My Name, Sister?” presents a series of surreal scenes culled from her dream journals inspired by the Revolution. The metaphorical story follows three siblings displaced by war and their search for a place, identity, and peace. The opening scene, “Roghieh,” made over a year earlier, has traveled to 10 countries since 2009.

Stepanian’s videos, performances, multimedia installations, photographs and paintings have been shown in five continents. Some of the recent screenings of her videos include: “Another Experiment by Women” at Anthology Film Archives (New York City, 2011); “VAFA 2010 – Video Art For All” (Macau); Vasteras Konstmuseum (Sweden, 2010); DA Fest (Bulgaria, 2010); Gaza International Festival For Video Art (2010); Fonlad 2010 Festival (Portugal); Teatro Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Arte Cubano (Havana, Cuba, 2010); and “SHE_STORY” (Zadar, Croatia, 2010).

As a member of the collaborative duo BOX 1035, Stepanian and composer, Philip Mantione, have created several large-scale multimedia installations ( Their installation, “Don’t be afraid, be ready” at Imagine Gallery (Beijing, June 2006) was listed in Beijing’s City Weekend magazine as number one of the top 5 exhibits.

Stepanian is a founding co-director of Musicians & Artists in New York, for which she co-curated and presented multimedia works by 50 international artists in 5 festivals in New York City. She is the creator and curator of Manipulated Image, which has showcased work by 120 video artists from 25 countries ( In 2009, she curated a one hour compilation of experimental short videos by US artists titled “memory” and “identity” for VideoChannel Cologne.