Interview: Natasha Monfared

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

Interview: Natasha Monfared

 

Luca Curci talks with artist Natasha Monfared during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES and FUTURE LANDSCAPES of BORDERS festival in Venice.

Born in Sheffield, Natasha Monfared is a final year student of Fine Art (BA Hons) at the University of Lincoln, based both in Lincoln and Hull as an artist. Monfared personifies her interests through the medias of video and photography, occasionally combining the two to create audio visuals of a raw aesthetic. Her underlying concern on the political and cultural aspects in Iran is a reflection of the artist’s Iranian background, consequently allowing her to make personal responses from experience and visits to the country. As her practice has developed, she currently further investigates today’s affairs affecting women’s place in society which takes place through the propaganda form of social media.

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

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Throughout her education, Monfared has been involved in design sets for productions such as Guys & Dolls and the performing arts competition Rock Challenge, which raises awareness of drugs and crimes. In addition, she has participated in performances in Beverley Folk Festival 2010. In her second year of university, she was part of a group exhibition, Points of View at The Collection and in May has self-curated and managed an exhibition called Heroes, as part of Oddity Arts Festival 2016 in Lincoln.

 

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

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Luca Curci – Please tell me about your art/the artwork shown during our event.

Natasha Monfared IRANIAN WIFE and DOMESTIC EXSISTENCE #2 imitate the role of a stereotypical wife in Iran, oppressed in a fundamental society by expressing the notion of the domestic purpose females are associated with. Forced to wear the compulsory hijab put in place as an effect of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, these women are oppressed by laws and expectations, denied freedom and identified by the domestic sphere. Women are not acknowledged by who they are, but rather by their services they provide for society.

 

L. C. – What about your artistic research?

N. M. – I have always been interested in looking at politics through art, because I find I am able to easily engage with current affairs. Shirin Neshat was the artist who made me realise what I was passionate about – and that was being a voice for women in Muslim societies. She was heavily influenced by the political, cultural, and religious effects of the Revolution and this inspired me to create work of my own. Currently, I reflect on matters that affect Iranian women today as I want to keep them in the public eye and raise awareness.

 

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

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L. C. – What’s the art tip you usually receive? Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?

N. M. – The art tip that I usually receive is to make art that makes people think. Art is meant to trigger the mind and lead the viewer onto other possibilities of meaning. I think it is extremely important to be able to see your work at all possible angles, which is why visitors’ suggestions are vital to enrich my art. More specifically, it encourages me to create art that keeps issues I am trying to address in the public eye by creating an awareness of treatment of both men and women in Muslim societies.

 

L. C. – Are you satisfied of this experience?
N. M. – Definitely. Feedback, opinions and suggestions help develop my practice further. It allows me to engage with the viewer through my artwork on a critical level.

 

L. C. – What is your artist direction? Are you interested in new media and new practices?

N. M. – I am always keen to explore with new media as I predominately work in video or manipulate photography through collages. I have recently experimented with makeup to make a lipstick bullet and I plan to follow this up. It will allow me to engage with my subject matter in different forms and see how new meanings are created and portrayed through a variety of medias. In the future, my artist direction will broaden so that a wider audience can then relate to my practice, rather than being specific on a particular society or culture.

 

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

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L. C. – What is your idea about It’s Liquid Group?
N. M. – It’s Liquid Group is a great platform that brings emerging artists into the art world and presents them with opportunities to communicate with other artists from different countries working in many medias concerning a variety of practices. It has definitely opened many prospects for me in the future.

 

L. C. – What do you think about the curatorial project?
N. M. – The curatorial project is fantastic. I travelled to Venice to physically see the exhibitions and it was a great experience. It brings people together of all nationalities and interests under one roof and allows us as both artists and viewers to engage with art.

 

Interview: Natasha MonfaredImage courtesy of Natasha Monfared

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