I ranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia's artistic journey took her from Tehran to London to San Francisco and from design to visual arts. Exploring design as a way of thinking rather than making final products, she started to develop her visual language when she moved back to Iran in 2004. Her works have since been as eclectic and diverse with inspiration coming from everywhere, be it a Persian carpet or an American security policy. Buro24/7 talks to the artist about her thoughts on the ever-changing world of art and why that change is important, now more than ever...
Your work revolves heavily on everyday things. Why is that?
I am myself fascinated with the ordinary and its relationship to its larger context and hope to draw attention to the unobserved aspects of our daily lives so that they may not be taken for granted. The importance of research, both visual and textual, during my education has had the biggest effect on my work.
With the media being what it is now, art is going through some changes, with influences being meshed together to form a new genre. Do you, as an artist, embrace this or is culture and heritage of particular importance in your works?
My work builds on the heritage and culture, sometimes it is a mix, sometimes it makes a reference and sometimes it attempts to make something completely new and hopes to be a continuation. But I believe when it comes to contemporary art, the boundaries — between East and West — are fading.
Is there a closed-door policy for the arts scene in Iran? Is there a reluctance to let foreign artistic influence in?
No I don't believe there is any closed-door policy, if anything the artist community is moving around internationally and any talks, exhibitions or workshops from the outside are enthusiastically received. I have seen a great deal of change in the past 10 years. While the scene has grown bigger, the community has become more aware of its benefits and faults of this growth and has started to become more critical of itself. I hope and believe that it will continue to grow in both directions in the future.
Do you have a set interpretation for your artworks or are you happy to let viewers make their own ideas from your pieces?
You certainly can't control the viewers' interpretations of your work, you can only give them some clues or direction as to what you intended and leave the rest to your viewers. I think art is about providing multiple and different interpretations to provoke the possibility of change.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
I am still amazed at the rapid changes that my city Tehran has been undergoing in the recent years, which has inspired two projects on this subject. But my next project focuses on the seemingly unending cycle of demolishing and building Tehran. For me, it is not enough to just create art as a beautiful piece of work; it should tell a story.
Nazgol Ansarinia's exhibition at the Green Art Gallery in Dubai titled 'Surfaces & Solids: Exploring the eecovery and Gentrification of Iran', runs until January 9, 2016. Elsewhere, her works can be viewed at the Aun Gallery in Tehran.