Raha Raissnia, Shortlisted Artist, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017
Alluvius, 2016, 3 out of a series of 12 mixed media drawings, 12’’ x 19’’
Series in Fugue, 2013, 8 paintings, oil and gesso on wood, 24’’ x 32’’ and 24’’ x 34’’
Mneme, 2015-2017, Hand-painted 35mm slides and 16 mm film, color, optical sound by Panagiotis Mavridis, 10’ loop
“My practice consists of three areas that are painting, drawing and filmmaking. All three areas are interconnected and interdependent. My films and paintings influence one another, and through creating drawings I investigates this influence. In my process I reflect and differentiate between what qualities are specific to still and to moving imagery, and often combine the two. My film work can be associated with Expanded Cinema practice, as I manipulate cinema’s structural elements in regards to space, time, frame, projectors and screens in live performances and loop installations. My process is layered and permutational. It makes use of both old and new technologies and relies heavily on what my hands can achieve. Music and sound play a major role in both inspiring and forming completed works. My work aspires to the temporal and experiential condition of music that is suggestive and ambiguous. What reveals itself as a subject matter in all my works is human vulnerability and integrity. What I seek to find in the most tenebrous subjects is subtlety, beauty and innocence. At the Abraaj Group Art Prize exhibition, I present a selection of oil paintings made on wood, from a series titled ‘Series in Fugue’, 2013, a film installation titled ‘Mneme’, 2016, consisting of hand painted collage 35mm slides and 16mm film projected onto a unique hand painted double screen, along with three works on paper from a series titled ‘Alluvius’, 2016.”
Raha Raissnia born in Tehran, Iran in the year 1968, received her BFA from the School of the Art institute of Chicago in 1992 and her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2002. In the interim, her interest in avant-garde filmmaking led her to work at Anthology Film Archives (1995– 1999), where she has also exhibited.
In 2016, Raissnia’s work was the subject of a solo presentation at the Museum of Modern Art (New York). In 2015, her work was included in All the World’s Futures, 56th International Art Exhibition, curated by Okwui Enwezor, Venice Biennale. Previously, her work has been featured in exhibitions at White Columns (New York), Access Gallery (Vancouver), the Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis, Khastoo Gallery (Los Angeles), Thomas Dane Gallery (London) and The Kitchen (New York), among others. Recent solo shows were held at Ab/Anbar Gallery (Tehran), Galeria Marta Cervera (Madrid), Galerie Xippas (Paris), and the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art (Isfahan, Iran). Raissnia’s projection-performances, often undertaken in collaboration with Aki Onda and Panagiotis Mavridis, have been held at Arnolfini – Center for Contemporary Arts (Bristol, UK), the Drawing Center (New York), Issue Project Room (New York), and Emily Harvey Foundation (New York), among others. Raissnia’s fifth one-person exhibition at Miguel Abreu Gallery took place in November 2015.