“Naftoon” is a multimedia art project, integrating photo, video, audio, and animation representing the essential role of oil in Iranian society. Using oil as a natural substance and a metaphor, and a medium through which to consider concepts of personal and national identity My intention is to emphasize the role of oil on a social, more than political or economic, level, but the latter necessarily issues seep through. Relying on nature and time, as well as processes of reflection, repetition, and absorption, I aim for these site-specific installation and video works simultaneously to mesmerize and to elicit thoughtful engagement. Through familiarity of materials and aesthetic sensibilities, I wish to establish a space of and for reflection, hopefully without imposing my personal political views.
As an immigrant woman, I am evaluating the relationship between identity, vulnerability, art and territory. In the immigration process, learning to discriminate new cultural codes, words and signs involves looking twice and many more times. My artwork is a site to actualize myself in the position of an observer, one who can look but hardly touch or to be touched. I am searching for the spiritual borderland in which I can apparently find the essence of my own individual history and the context I live in, as well as getting in touch with my vulnerable side. I am also questioning my relationship between the self and the other, and the ways we can bridge over differences on the land we share and the territory we prefer to keep private.
I am investigating the conception and expression of my own identity as an immigrant and my presence in an unknown surrounding. Reproducing the vulnerability and fragility of body and mind, as well as the lasting effects of moving from one place to another, I am exploring physical displacement and its psychological consequences in conjunction with the role and perception of others. Placing life-sized transparent photographs of myself in the space, I am offering the viewers to walk through the images and engaging them formally and conceptually, by highlighting the challenging effects of emotional destabilization.
Identity grows and shifts throughout life by facing uncertainty and confusion, and experiencing new things. In this regard, lasting effects of destabilization for immigrants usually results in vulnerability of body and mind. Coming from diverse backgrounds with unique cultures of their native countries, immigrants sometimes experience conflicting and clashing values that lead to questioning the self-image, as well as image of others.