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Identities in Movement - Hamed Noori

co-curated by Artemis Akchoti Shahbazi and Daniela Veneri

“The audience always surprises me. They usually move much further ahead of me and give me the clue that I didn't think about.” - Hamed Noori

Hamed Noori, Boston, MA. Photo courtesy of the artist.

What projects that you are working on excite you most and why?

So far I would say that I am really enjoying the experience of the ongoing project that is called "World in Travel". I am taking a small world map to every place that I go to and take a picture with this background. It represents my real-life, like so many immigrants carrying their world to new places where they move in.

Also, I am very excited about the new collaboration with two other artists. We have founded an art-platform dedicated to impermanence: The (Im)permanence Platform.

This project has value for me because it caused me to look deep inside myself. I believe making a conscious effort to identify points of commonality existing between artists, homeless, and immigrants and find interdependency between permanence and impermanence could lead my creative process.

What are your most important goals as an artist?

Making artworks without temporal and spatial limits is an important goal for me.

Hamed Noori, Mashhad, Iran. Photo courtesy of the artist.

What moves you in your work?

The desire for learning is always moving me forward. I like to increase my knowledge far beyond the visual arts: to architecture, cultural critique, philosophy, literature, anthropology. These bits of knowledge become tools for my attempt to make the artworks with fresh ideas.

Who are your most important partners and interlocutors?

I am spending my time with a society of like-minded individuals. We motivate each other to achieve our highest artistic potential and they help me to push forward my creative pursuits. Of course, the most important partner and interlocutor is my wife, Gohar. With whom I spend my time talking and designing our artistic ideas in order to achieve new capacity in our artistic life.

Which of the feedbacks you received over the years have been particularly meaningful for you or surprised you most?

The audience always surprises me. They usually move much further ahead of me and give me the clue that I didn't think about. I remember when I was showing one of my videos, one of my friends told me that he was thinking of birds that would lose their way because of the destruction of nature and die on the way. Honestly, my idea behind that video was about "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)" and I never thought about environmental concerns. I could say he was very smarter than me.

What makes you feel free to create your art?

I feel free when I can talk no matter my medium. Creating art is my dialogue with the world and with people. My camera is my most important medium. I capture my daily life for myself, my son, and the people who are interested and by so doing I somehow bring it into the future.

Hamed Noori, Still frame / Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) / 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

What kind of contribution would you like your work to have?

I aspire to make art documentation to preserve memory and our history.

My art is about personal and cultural memory and invites the audiences to empathize.

What unites past, present, and future in your artistic practice?

What is important for my work is to go beyond time, to make it timeless. Creation in itself brings me joy and thus is a time where I do unite time and bring it to the present moment.

What kind of relationship do you feel should exist between aesthetics and ethics today?

I believe and work with minimal and polished esthetics in my art. I invest time to eliminate excess, and confusion, in order to make sure that what needs to be seen is seen. I make a distinction between good and bad and consciously choose to highlight what is good.

How can arts and culture make an effective social contribution in our time?

I believe that art and artists can educate and create empathy through the power of storytelling and this would lead to dramatic social change. Art and culture are helping to train and enrich humans in turn this will build a stronger future.

Hamed Noori, Still frame / Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) / 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

Our planet has been dealing with a public health crisis spreading all over and museums, exhibitions, arts and cultural sites, have been closing the doors in many countries. What is your feeling about how this pandemic will influence our approach to producing, sharing and experiencing the arts?

I believe all new experience brings us unique information and helps us re-define who we are. Without a doubt, this pandemic has been a new process for the artist community. Artists always needed social interaction to feed on experiences and knowledge, so social networks and the avalanche of digital communication became the best tool to invigorate ideas and inspiration at this moment.

Where do you see current shifts in the transformation of the contemporary art system, where do you see risks and challenges and where do you see opportunities?

In my opinion, contemporary art is becoming more and more commercialized, and the production, reproduction, and support of artists who work and produce in the service of capitalism is an inappropriate model for those who want to enter art in the coming years.

If you were able to change one or two things in the area of responsibility of artists, art curators, institutions, cultural producers, exhibition platforms, what things do you think would create the most value and benefit for all?

I would definitely incorporate art in public spaces more. Transform train stations, bus stops, or even hospital wait rooms into art galleries. In other words, connect art to everyday life.

Is there anything that I did not ask you that you would like to share?

I feel that you brought a complete set of questions that I do not need to add upon.

Can you mention three or five keywords that express your impressions and feelings about this conversation?

Questions reaching deep into the roots. Helping us to look at art from various perspectives: our own but also, from the societal, commercial, cultural, and public/private points of view.

Hamed Noori

Hamed Noori (b. 1979, Mashhad) is an Iranian artist who received his B.A in "Applied Art" from Kashan University (IR), Faculty of Arts and Architecture in 2007. He is a former graduate student of “Art in Context” at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). He uses photography, video, and mixed media, and his practice focuses on his personal experiences within the frame of a collective identity, deeply linked with social and historical issues.


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