Astria Suparak is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, California.
Her cross-disciplinary projects address complex and thorny issues (like white supremacy, colonialism, and racial capitalism) made accessible through a popular culture lens (such as sci-fi movies, rock music, and sports). Straddling creative and scholarly work, the projects often take the form of publicly available tools, databases, and histories of subcultures and omitted perspectives.
Over the last year Suparak’s creative projects have been exhibited and performed at MoMA, ICA LA, The Walker Art Center, The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, and as part of the For Freedoms billboard series. Suparak has curated exhibitions, screenings, and performances for art institutions and festivals including The Liverpool Biennial, Museo Rufino Tamayo, The Kitchen, Eyebeam, MoMA PS1, and Expo Chicago, as well as for unconventional spaces such as roller-skating rinks, sports bars, and rock clubs.
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Astria Suparak is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, California. Her cross-disciplinary practice often addresses urgent political issues and has been widely acclaimed for its high level concepts made accessible through a popular culture lens.
Highlighted projects include Asian futures, without Asians, a multipart research project analyzing American science fiction cinema which draws from the histories of art, architecture, design, fashion, film, food, and weaponry; Alien She, a traveling group exhibition on the impact of the global punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl; Whatever It Takes: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals, and Obsessions, an exhibit that reframed sports fanaticism as a significant form of cultural production; Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men, the first survey of the internationally renowned culture jamming group; and the Sports issue of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media, which was accompanied by a year-long series of exhibitions, screenings, dialogues, and artist projects. Her current research interests include food histories and linguistics.
Described as prescient and “visually and conceptually stunning,” Suparak’s work has garnered critical praise from The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Artforum, Art In America, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Fast Company, The Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle for its innovative approaches, “savvy political consciousness,” unique contribution to local and larger cultural spheres, and ability to bridge diverse audiences.
Suparak’s cross-disciplinary projects address complex and thorny issues (like white supremacy, colonialism, and racial capitalism) made accessible through a popular culture lens (such as sci-fi movies, rock music, and sports). Straddling creative and scholarly work, they often take the form of publicly available tools, databases, and histories of subcultures and omitted perspectives. Over the last year Suparak’s projects have been exhibited and performed at The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Spike Island (Bristol, UK), The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco), and as part of the For Freedoms billboard series. Her artwork has been published in BlackStar Festival’s Seen journal, the anthology Why are they so afraid of the lotus? (The Wattis and Sternberg Press), the art journals MONDAY and LTTR, and Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents. She edited The Yes Men Activity Book and her writing has appeared in Art21 Magazine, VICE Magazine’s Noisey, The Getty blog, Boing Boing, The Exhibitionist, Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, and The Museum Is Not Enough.
Suparak has curated exhibitions, film screenings, performances, discussions, and live music events for art institutions and festivals across ten countries, including The Liverpool Biennial, Museo Rufino Tamayo, MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, Eyebeam, Participant Inc, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, and Expo Chicago, as well as for unconventional spaces such as roller-skating rinks, ferry boats, sports bars, and rock clubs. Her curatorial practice has explored science, political and community activism, sports, and feminisms and gender, among other topics.
Suparak previously served as the director and curator of the contemporary galleries at Carnegie Mellon and Syracuse University, and of the Pratt Institute Film Series. Beyond a robust curatorial practice, she’s worked in every aspect of arts administration from fundraising to marketing to management. Suparak has taught in the Fine Arts and Curatorial Practice graduate programs at the California College of the Arts and in the Museum Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. She has advised various art organizations and served on numerous juries, boards, and panels, including Creative Capital, the Alpert Awards, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Mike Kelley Foundation, and Brooklyn Museum.
Suparak was born in Los Angeles to Thai parents. She studied studio art and art history at Pratt Institute.