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Art + Activism with Sanaz Mazinani

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Sanaz Mazinani is an artist with a background in political activism who uses art to inspire dialogue about perceptions of cultural identity. In the latest episode of Art School, she describes her current art practice and the intentions behind her recent installation at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Using online media focusing on world news and pop culture as her source material, she creates symmetrical photo collages and videos that abstract familiar images and invite viewers to reconsider visual culture and its meaning and influence on public opinion and social justice.

Mazinani's site-specific installation titled Threshold is comprised of mirrored tiles arranged in a geometric design referencing Islamic ornamentation and her personal connection to traditional sensibilities. The delicately constructed mirrored surface cover the walls and a freestanding sculpture, encouraging self-reflection and adding dynamism to a looping video of fiery explosions, the focal point of the installation.

Mazinani’s contemporary interests in often-chaotic media representations of political and cultural identity push up against the unity and order of the geometric arrangements she constructs, creating a strong juxtaposition. She expands on the intention of traditional of Islamic ornamentation in the short clip below.

Sanaz Mazinani exhibits her photography and installation art internationally, and she also works as a curator and educator. To see more of her work, visit SanazMazinani.com.


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