ABOUT

Since graduating with a Masters of Visual Arts (Research) in 2011, and having completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2006, Nasim Nasr has developed a body of work that has featured in numerous exhibitions, festivals and publications in Australia and internationally.

Nasr’s photographic and video practice has sought to comment upon universal concerns within contemporary society, engaging and articulating notions of State and self-censorship, and the transience of cultural and personal identity.  With an abiding interest in the concept of cultural relationships and their role in contemporary society, her practice has engaged themes of intercultural dialogue.  Through the presentation of multiple channel video works, photography, performance, objects and sound, these collective works have endeavoured to highlight the complexities within contemporary notions of interchangeable identities and cultural difference, as experienced between past and present cultures and homelands, between the West and the East.

For further details including full Biography and Artist CV, please contact us directly at catherine@catherineasquithart.com


33 Beads, 2018

33 Beads engages with cultural experiences through the compulsive, predominantly male habit of handling traditional prayer and non-prayer beads (what the West refers to as “worry beads” and in the Middle East “tasbih”) in response to the fluctuating conditions of being worried or unworried about major life issues and concerns.

Social, political and intellectual forces that shape contemporary society are inevitably fraught with confusion and uncertainty. Questions are plentiful, answers are few.

The photo series 33 Beads with its double and multiple female hands compulsively mould the beads, seeking to deny their cultural meaning, presenting the question whether to keep the male tradition or break it down.

The tension between the female hands and the worrybeads suggests an unspoken metaphor, to hold on to one’s past or to let it go, sensing the cyclical and infinite nature of the human condition.

Please note: all prices quoted are for unframed works.


Zaeefeh (The Wretchedness), 2015

This series comprises portraits of historical Persian shahs, on which the artist has inscribed Farsi quotes. These quotes include citations from Iranian poet's Forough Farrokhzad's, Another Birth, and from Iranian writer Sadegh Hedayat's influential story, The Blind Owl(1937). Both writers expressed dissatisfaction with their then-current regimes. Both writers' work was banned in Iran.

The Zaeefeh format is especially effective. The portraits look like the sepia print of an old map or of a formal portrait. They refer to the 19th century carving up of Iran for imperialist powers. They also suggest the out-dated and parochial views that these men held with respect to women. The quotations don't just veil the men's faces. They also resemble palimpsests. Intentional or not, these palimpsests form shapes, like, for instance, those found in Guillaume Apollinaire's poem, Il pleut. As such, the men have become nothing more than the background for artistic and verbal expressions. By a female Iranian artist, no less.

Nasr chose the series title for a specific purpose. In a patriarchal society, the word Zaeefeh refers to the diminutive way in which men refer to their wives, weak and ineffectual.  (James Scarborough, Art, Theatre and Film Critic- Huffington Post, 2015)

Please note: all prices quoted are for unframed works.


Forty Pages, 2015

Forty Pages contemplates personal or global history in the context of movement from one culture to another in the contemporary world, and refers to the forty pages in a passport.

Each passport stamp, representing either the departure from or entering a country, is integral to one’s history of the difficulties of movement and disempowerment by country of birth and its life-boundaries.  At every national border, one is submissive and defenceless to officialdom.  This is a potent control upon individual existence and independence, especially in the contemporary world of displacement and separation from East and West.

For Nasim, this gradual accumulation of stamps feels like “layers upon my personal history, upon my passport photo, upon my face, its aggregation steadily evolving into an identity I no longer recognizes, apart from my eyes – a transformation.”

Forty Pages represents the artist’s body as a site or platform for the compilation of these stamps from the last decade of her life, and therefore, become a part of her “history of transience and being”.

Please note: all prices quoted are for unframed works.


Shadi (Happiness), 2013

Shadi (Farsi for “happiness”) consists of four Persian daf made from goatskin stretched over wooden drums, which have been converted into light boxes. Utilising the daf as a frame emphasises the notion that the hands themselves are instruments, but instruments of what exactly?

Taken as a whole, there is a certain ambiguity as the gender of the hands, and without readily knowing the meaning of the gestures, the nature of that gesture: are they praying? Are they intimating some form of domestic activity?

In truth the hand gestures are inferring a beshkan gesture; in Middle Eastern and Arab countries, beshkan, the snapping of fingers with both hands making a sharp clicking sound, is a demonstrative and joyous form of celebration at good news.