Interview: Maryam Nazari | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Maryam Nazari

Interviews | June 26, 2018 |

Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari
Interview: Maryam Nazari

Luca Curci talks with Maryam Nazari during CONTEMPORARY VENICE in Venice.
Maryam is a Persian performance artist/maker, musician/sound designer and multidisciplinary artist based in London. She recently graduated with an MA in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins (London). Her recent projects have included commissions from the Royal Albert Hall (London), Palais de Fetes (in Strasbourg) and Teheran Museum of Contemporary arts. Her areas of interest include social and political issues. She has always had a plan and question to transpose, how to transpose and considering/working on the different ways of transposing the sense of hearing and vision with her artworks and use the audiences’ imagination. She makes the sonic elements in her pieces specific with the help of sound design and sonic scenography in the performance art/contemporary performance event. Her works are a combination of sonic culture and visual culture which she calls acoustic scenography or acoustic/sonic as scenography. As a part of her practice she intends to transpose the ears and eyes. She tries to use the sound art/design or acoustic and sonic imagination as a concept not an object for the performance making. In her practice with the help of the music theories, words and sonic imagination, she is trying to develop a new way of a narrative. Juxtaposing the words and sound is one of the most important parts of her practice for the structure of her pieces which she inspired by the music theories. In tandem with a way of performance making and design based on the music theory and sound design for the main structure of the piece, she uses this fact to design the exact timing for the pieces with help of the sound design.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


Luca Curci – Do you agree with our vision of art and what you think about the theme of the event?

Maryam Nazari – The most significant point of the international contemporary art events is diversity and variety. This event that was an international contemporary art event/show gave this chance to the participant artists and the audience at the same time to explore the different vision and opinion about the world with the presented works.


L.C. – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the event’s theme?

M.N. – Selecting artists from different countries for a multidisciplinary event, with different background, is contemporaneity itself. Walking in a space that surrounded you by various artworks is like a worldwide journey, travelling between different minds and meeting people from all over the globe. As a result, you might realise that we are all common in one thing, which is HUMANITY.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


L.C. – What role does the artist have in society? And the art?

M.N. – The artists are like the mirror. They are the reflection of their society. Art, artists and artworks are the real history of all societies. Possibly, the history books could be distorted and garble, but it is not possible to do the same thing with artworks, which are the history spirit reflection. From Hegel’s point of view, the history of the universe is specifically traced via the stages of the developmental process by which Absolute Spirit comes to be conscious of itself. Art, then, as the explanation of the spirit of different eras, develops much as history develops.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

M.N. – My background is in music. I have started to learn music from the age 8. From that time until now, music, rhythm and sound were/are an inseparable part of my life. I have passed many courses in the history of art, philosophy of art and Persian literature as well. Those courses in tandem with music made my vision wider into the art world. I started to work as a theatre composer and sound designer from the age 19. The combination of all of these fields makes my mind multidimensional and comparative. I completed my Bachelor in music at Tehran Art & Architecture College. Recently, I graduated with an MA in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins (London). All of those above experiences helped me as a kind of tools to share and explain my opinion and concerns with others. My works are a combination and juxtaposition of sonic culture and visual culture.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


L.C. – How do you find creative inspiration?

M.N. – Apart from the cultural and political issues that as an Iranian artist I am surrounded by these circumstance, there are the other creation motivations for me. For instance, reading philosophical books and papers, reading poems, watching the other artists pieces or artworks, hours of thinking as well as researching and imagining, and at the end being isolated from people and reality of life and staying in my bubble for the creating. For me as an Artist and Designer there are two different types of works. The first one is the pieces that raised up from my personal concern and issues which are usually about the human life, war, politics, social issues and dichotomy. When I have a specific theme and I should design a piece for that theme. Sitespecific performances are somehow similar to the second one. As an example, for the first type of works and the way of creating I can explain my performance art piece for you which was commissioned by Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts. “This body is all bodies”(2017) is a solo performance art piece with audience participation. This piece is included a political world map, hundreds of small figures on a special costume, fake blood and a kind of acoustic/sound scenography that could give the feeling of suspension and insecurity to the audience. I inspired by, daily news on TV and newspapers that tell us how many people are killed every day and we just observe it and sometimes where are eating something and listening to these news which is so strange. Also, this performance ideas was arrived at through my research into the violent political situation related to ISIS and their attacks all around the world. “Under the Counter” (2017) was a collaborative piece and commissioned by the Royal Albert Hall in London. This was a theme/site-specific performance, taking inspiration from the transformative counterculture era and performed as a journey through the unusual and unseen spaces at the Hall.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


L.C. – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

M.N. – Starting is the most challenging part of creating for me. When I decided to transpose a concept to a piece of art for me it is like that I want to write your testament. We are all familiar with the concept of the testament and Will, but transposing this concept to the object is a big deal.


L.C. – What is your idea about It’s Liquid Group?

M.N. – “It’s Liquid Group” is a great platform for the contemporary artists in different disciplinary. Well planed and fantastic exhibition. Its Liquid is like a dinner table with different food, which could make all the guests happy at the end of the party for the well cooked and high-quality foods.


Maryam NazariImage courtesy of Maryam Nazari


L.C. – Did you feel comfortable cooperating with us?

M.N. – For me, it was a worthwhile experience. As a participant in this exhibition, I felt convenient. I hope that our collaboration will be continued in the future.

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