Interview: Natasha Jozi

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Red Prayers (30 mins performance), 2013, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Art, Constance S. and Robert J. Hennessy Project, DE. Photo credits: Scotty Beland

Interview: Natasha Jozi

Director Luca Curci‘s conversaton with artist Natasha Jozi during Hidden Rooms exhibition in Venice.

Natasha Iqbal Jozi is a Pakistan born artist who works with video and performance. Her work explores the embodied relationship between “Self” and the “Other” through religious, cultural and social experience, exploring the ideas of veil, ritual and language. She creates sensorial embodied experiences in her video and performance works. In 2010 she received a B.F.A in painting with distinction from Fatima Jinnah University, Pakistan. She is a 2012-2014 recipient of Fulbright scholarship for M.F.A in Studio Art from Montclair State University, New Jersey U.S.A.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Touch(ing), Participatory Performance, 2013. Performers: Aj Mannion, Hanna Castoro, Malcolm Michael, Megan Gecik. Photo credits: Alexis Devaney

Her most recent exhibitions include, “Hidden Rooms – Identities-Cities-Memories” International festival of Video Art, Venice ‘Startatorium’ at MagnanMetz – Chelsea NY (2014), ‘Sliver’ at Index Art Center, NJ(2014), MFA Biennial 2013 “Post Consumed – Millennial Biennial” at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts DE (2013), for which she was awarded the Curator’s Choice award as well. She has performed live at numerous galleries including Panoply Performance Laboratory- NY (2013), Delaware Centre for the Contemporary Arts – DE (2013), and Gallery Aferro – NJ (2013). She also performed in the performance piece by Pascal Rambert “A (Micro) History of the World Economics, Danced.” at Lamama, NY (2013). Selected group exhibitions include KSA Gallery and Pakistan National Council of Arts in Pakistan. Jozi’s works have been published in the Emergency Index Magazine Vol.3. Jozi lives and works in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Please Let Me Cross The Bridge, Three Channel Video, 2013

Luca Curci – Your work was exhibited during Hidden Rooms exhibition in Venice on November 2014: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Natasha Jozi – As an artist you are always trying to find the community your work belongs to. Being able to exhibit where you think your work belongs to is not only an opportunity. I as an artist am always looking for new inspirations and it is inspiring also see other artist’s works. Being able to be under the same roof along with such exceptional performance and video artist, thanks to the Venice ArtExpo, was truly refreshing. Although I wasn’t able to attend the opening, it felt like home away from home.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Their Sight is Touching you, Video Performance, 2013

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

N. J. – The titles/theme of the festival was “Hidden Rooms – Identities-Cities-Memories”. Two of my video performances were projected in the festival: “Please let me cross the bridge” and “Their sight is touching you” . Both works explore the ideas of hidden identities and how the politics of females’ body is measured within social and cultural pressures. My works are inspired by experiences that bud from being a Pakistani Muslim, how I navigate myself within the local and more so the global relationship of female and Islam. As humans we all have hidden parts of identities, the ones that are either terrorized, or compromised due to external forces. The show beautifully lends a hand to reveal the hidden secrets and create an opportunity for ourselves to talk about them.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Red Prayers (30 mins performance), 2013, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Art, Constance S. and Robert J. Hennessy Project, DE. Photo credits: Scotty Beland

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

N. J. – I am currently working on a number of projects. I am exploring the idea of censorship and ways in which we filter information. I am working on a number of performance pieces, video works and participatory installations using printmaking. I am also working on curating an exhibition in Islamabad, and show innovative works in video, installation and performance art, that hopefully will take place in 2015.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Please Let Me Cross The Bridge, Three Channel Video, 2013

L. C. – What is art for you?

N. J. – Okay – well, Art for me is an experience, period. Art for me is a moment. Art for me is communication, a two-way communication. Art for me is the capacity to come out of it and create an experience to engulf everything that’s around it. Art for me is a something extremely simple and yet deep, something extremely poetic yet relatable.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Touch(ing), Participatory Performance, 2013. Performers: Aj Mannion, Hanna Castoro, Malcolm Michael, Megan Gecik. Photo credits: Alexis Devaney

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

N. J. – International Art Expo is doing a commendable job in creating spaces for worldwide artists to come together and communicate on one platform. They are a team of extremely professional and methodological artists and curators. They seem to have the objective to showcase art that is more than a commercial success. They believe in experimentation and innovative ideas and are working to achieve these ambitious goals. They are a wonderful team to work with.

Natasha JoziNatasha Jozi, Please Let Me Cross The Bridge, Three Channel Video, 2013

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

N. J. – Most definitely, and they are. I am hearing really good things about current and future projects they are working on now. One thing they are doing successfully is to reach out to the international artist community and create a repertoire of remarkable work. They are extremely pro-active in maintaining a good relation with the artist community and are currently doing shows at Venice, which is just awesome!

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