Middle East & Africa

Nazgol Ansarinia
Residential apartments/ water reserve & wind towers on Sayad highway, Fabrications

In the early 2000s, as urban redevelopment accelerated and intense construction significantly diminished public space in Tehran, state-funded murals began to represent imaginary landscapes on building facades. The municipality of Tehran uses such pictorial representation to to exert influence over and come to terms with the flow of communal desire. The protrusion of the unreal onto the real interrupts the values, independence, and functionality of one over the other. It is not uncommon, for example, to find a Kashan-style house with a courtyard painted on one side of a three-story building, a Yazd-style windtower depicted on the other side of a newly built apartment complex, or rows of painted adobe structures on retaining walls girding the expressway. Fabrications, a series of architectural models that have no equivalent in reality, gives such forms a chance to realize themselves in the third dimension. The model–a constructed fiction–explores the contested space between tradition and modernity, a binary that continues to consume the artist’s culture, identity, and imagination.

Nazgol Ansarinia (b. 1979, lives and works in Tehran) dissects, interrogates, and recasts networks, objects, and events to draw out relationships to the contemporary Iranian experience. Her mode of working covers diverse media, including video, 3D printed models, and drawings. Subjects are as varied as automated telephone systems, U.S. national security policies, the memories associated with a family house, and the patterns of Persian Carpets.