(Iranian, born in 1974 in Iran; Lives and works in New York, NY)
In my recent show I presented smaller scale work. The idea came from an honest and simple place. I wanted to provide more intimacy between the viewer and the piece. I wanted the viewer to come closer. I was thinking about Joseph Cornell’s boxes and how they require you to come close and investigate. That interaction is something I planned before Covid but because of Covid it became more charged. We are told to stay 6 feet apart so having an intimate encounter was even more meaningful. When things are that small, there is a sense that the works are handled and touched. You can relate them to the human body, as if being held or coddled.
My photograms are done in the dark, in the dark room, quickly, repetitively. I’m thinking about making the image in my head and roughly translating that into my hands and covering the paper in a way that will illustrate what I see in my head. I feel that sort of head to hand transaction can be akin to drawing, specifically a gesture drawing. What is embodied in the image is the way that I think about it.
String has been around in my practice for a few years. It’s one of the things in my tool box I always come back to. It’s very meaningful to me and viewed with a lot of memories of my mother and childhood. Using it is a calming sort of meditative process. It’s also tentative. In making a line, it’s forgiving, it can be rearranged.
One of the most impactful residencies I did was in Banff. It was six weeks long. It was great to be able to get away from my routine and the noise of New York to just focus entirely on my practice. I’ve done a few others. I enjoy them and think they’re valuable. I feel it’s very precious time and I take it seriously. I can’t do them as often as I’d like. They’ve always been a very important place for me to experience growth. Ideas are generated. I become a different person. It’s nice to escape into a world where it’s just artists working. You’re not a New York artist any more. You’re not someone who’s on the scene. You’re just with thinking artists. I enjoy the anonymity.
–Conversation on October 6, 2020
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