Transformer Presents Dahlia Elsayed & Andrew Demirjian Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?

By Editorial Team on March 10, 2020

Sat, 14 March 2020 - Sat, 25 April 2020

Courtesy of Transformer.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 14 from 5pm to 8pm

Transformer is proud to present Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow?, a rest stop for the future based on the past, by artists Dahlia Elsayed and Andrew Demirjian. This multi-sensory installation reimagines the Silk Road caravanserai as a potential site for the exchange of ideas and culture.

By drawing upon the vocabulary of social and sacred architecture from Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA), Elsayed and Demirjian – both diasporic artists from this region – create a space for engagement, pause, and reflection. Transformer’s interior is completely reimagined – the walls, floors, and ceilings are embellished with vibrant textiles, rugs, and furnishings; a spatialized soundtrack composed of deconstructed folk instruments, and fragrant mists and Turkish coffee envelops the air. Elsayed and Demirjian create an alternate world intended to reconnect visitors with the senses, rituals, and mythologies that have been diminished in an age dominated by relentless commerce and time scarcity.

In a region that once thrived on the cosmopolitan and mutual interchange of ideas, Which Yesterday Is Tomorrow? conjures a fictive location where aesthetics and ideologies are exchanged freely, establishing an alternative to the historical narrative of colonization, crisis, and territoriality portrayed in Western media. In keeping with this approach, Elsayed and Demirjian have also invited and curated a group of designers, painters, sculptors, and poets to create mementos to contribute to the installation, establishing a space for re-connection for artists from the SWANA diaspora.

  • Opening Reception: March 14th, 5-8pm
  • Holding Patterns: April 4th, 2-4pm
  • Cultures in Contact: April 25th, 2-4pm
  • Pre-Sunset Pause: Every Thursday, 4-6pm


Dahlia Elsayed is an artist and writer who makes text and image-based work that synthesizes an internal and external experience of place, connecting the ephemeral to the concrete. She writes short fictions for created landscapes that take the form of narrative paintings, print and installation. Her work is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the US Department of State, amongst others. Dahlia received her MFA from Columbia University, and lives and works in New Jersey. She is a Professor of Humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, New York.

Andrew Demirjian is an interdisciplinary artist who works with remix, rhythm and ritual. He creates environments for critical reflection through scraping and recombining popular culture, making intricate collages of sound and language. His work is often presented in non-traditional exhibition spaces and takes the form of interactive installations, generative art, multi-channel videos and live performances. He is currently a Fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where he is working on a computational text analysis project for linguistic remixing of vast quantities of video files. Andrew teaches theory and production courses in emerging media in the Film and Media Department and the Integrated Media Arts MFA program at Hunter College in New York City.

Exhibition Hours:

  • Wednesday – Saturday: 12-6pm
  • and by appointment

Transformer is located at 1404 P St. NW.