Negin Sharifzadeh

Mobile for Imagining, 2015, Found object, paper, wood, wire, 38” x 38” x 96”

Growing up in one of the most complex regions of the world, during a time of war, social tension and political upheavals, made flux and uncertainty inherent to my world view. I was raised steeped in the history and culture of the region, yet nothing could be taken for granted, everything could be leveled in a moment. History was a force that erupted in daily life, upending everything. Like most who could, I left the country as soon as I could, and ended up living in different countries on different continents. My identity traveled with me, even as I eagerly took up the cultures of each place I lived, achieving a balance between nostalgia and assimilation. Somehow, drinking in these new cultures only makes me grow, in some ways, more Iranian, while feeling also farther from my birthplace all the time, two poles of attraction that show up in my work.

Thought politics and the large sweep of history are what sent me into the life of a 21st century Nomad, I have grown more interested in the small histories, the stories that define us as individuals. Still, in these microcosms can be found all the forces of history writ large, but on a scale that is conceivable and identifiable. Myths are written, not about peoples and nations, but about individuals, for just this reason. I look to find the reflection of the mythic and universal in the ordinary tragedies and triumphs that make up the lives we move through.

My animation style grows out my earlier sculptural and performing arts practices, the two mediums I studied academically. All the characters, props and objects are made by hand, then manipulated and moved to be shot in camera, frame by frame. The films are then brought into digital world for editing and sound design. The themes of my stories are inspired by personal and familial stories, poetry, and politics, but I translate them to collective mythic structures in order to resonate more universally with my audience.

View the artist's exhibition here.