Artistic Approach

Breaking the boundaries between development, creation and dissemination, my work as a transmedia artist unfolds outside the art space as well as inside. Thematically, I am concerned with the connections between the past and present, junctures and disjunctions between historical and contemporary issues, and cultural transmissions across locations. Formally, I explore language and social relations through time-based and performative strategies, and work with different media, modalities and technologies on- and off-screen. My recent works usually draw on audience congregation and interaction to engage them in active and direct dialogue.

Passages is rooted in my ongoing research into repressed histories and their persistence in contemporary cultural imaginary and socio-political discourse. In this project, I explore how textual transmissions and memory processes, past encounters and intercultural gaze have shaped and continue to animate our contemporary (gendered) bodies. I also explore how embodied writing can reach back and project forward in time to uncover and mend historical ruptures. Collaborating with other artists and/or audiences would open the space for exploring intersecting histories and cultures toward new relations and understandings. As interventions in public spaces, the performances function like missives from the past rupturing the surface of the present in order to alter our conception of history and contemporaneity.

Passages would build on my performative and relational methodologies, combine different strands of my practice in new ways; and bridge aesthetic experience with social dialogue. Here the artwork emerges through embodied engagement with the material, thrive on relational strategies, and reflect on and respond to the complexities of time and space. In Passages, as in many of my previous works, I use a variety of techniques and technologies, layering different media and approaches in the same work, and combining the material/physical with the ephemeral/virtual. Here, embodied and performative methodologies as spoken and written word are used to bypass representational conventions in mapping cultural imaginary.

Since 2008 I have been exploring embodied writing (where body is at once the conduit and the site of writing) as a performative strategy. Inspired by the Iranian tradition of naqali (public recitation of historical accounts), I have also worked with spoken word in a number of projects. Passages brings these diverse strategies together to explore their creative intersections and potentials.

Combining embodied writing and reading, Passages proposes critical relationships between our multiple senses, perception and site. Embodied writing and reading create a productive space for thoughtful and critical engagement. They enlist the audience as participants and/or witnesses and produce an experience that is time-based, multi-sensorial, and is created live through collaboration and responsiveness to space and spectator.

In my work I often explore language and seek ways to make its spaces and effects tangible and visible. Passages explores fluid connections between orality, writing, print, electronic media and networked media as communication modalities that are simultaneously present and integral in our contemporary experience. The online presence explores the screen as integral to our experience of the work, and extends its space and time while highlighting its roots in physical encounter. As live exchanges between artist and audience, performances allow us to reflect on the ephemerality and temporality of such encounters. This multi-layered approach creates a work that reflects on the complexities of historical and experiential time, as well as the spatial and cultural complexity of its subject.