Uk-based Iranian artist Alinah Azadeh discusses her massive installation ‘The Gifts’ at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, 2010 and how the process of binding in the work helped her when after losing her mother to the Asian Tsunami of 2004. This is our second interview with Azadeh who was commissioned to fill the Royal Festival Hall ballroom, Southbank with a large installation called The Bibliomancer’s Dream. New work by Azadeh will be on show during a Six Pillars exhibition at Hundred Years Gallery, London May 31st-June 16th more info on www.sixpillars.org For culture news and signposts, follow us on our mailing list or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SixPillarsToPersia
Nooshin Farhid, video artist, whose solo show Shallow Water, Deep Skin is now running at East London’s The Agency Gallery discusses her work and process with us back in 2008. Over the years Farhid has co-curated a number of exhibitions including “Use this Kind of Sky” and has exhibited the world over gathering together a considerable body of work and lengthy resumé.
Farhid’s videos employ different subjects and scenarios that thread together with a connecting sense of agitation and grit. We discuss her interests and how Fahid’s ideas form which interestingly harks back to her own experiences as an immigrant settling in the UK. The unwillingness to settle for what is on offer, something that is evident in all her work, reflects Farhid’s views on the current state of society, politics and ideology. Though not overtly political, (for this inevitably enables privileged authority to manipulate the artist into the cul de sac of irrelevance), her work picks away at those daily familiar stabilising forces within the space of the everyday and also within contemporary art itself.
Farhid’s work, eclectic and conceptually nomadic, uses the camera as a notebook collecting fragments of random events and chance meetings that collectively question the incessant drive towards normality and conformity. Farhid appropriates other ‘dumbing’ forms of popular media: soaps, reality TV, Bollywood, MTV, raw material welded together in fragments, each one activating and qualifying its predecessor. This process produces a contemporary surreal space that re-presents the familiar in that which is astonishing and invites the viewer to reconsider. In her most recent work Shallow Water, Deep Skin, featuring political activist and entomologist Shahin Nawai in ‘Shallow Water, Deep Skin’ Farhid reaches the apex of her observations of the human disconnect by melding together the swarming world of nature and human kinds’ own busy, teeming concerns.
Most of all, Farhid turns out to be a quirky and humorous talent, who works as both artist and curator, resident and outsider. This interview was first broadcast from the ResonanceFM studios in 2008.
The exhibition is a series of engaging portraits around the symbolism of the union jack with all its connotations. The photos are accompanied by statements and both promote a questioning of our ideas of what it means to be British now.