Nazgol Ansarinia examines the systems and networks that underwrite her daily life. Born and raised in Tehran, she dissects, interrogates and recasts everyday objects and events to draw out their relationships to the contemporary Iranian experience. She reveals the inner workings of a social system by taking apart its components before reassembling them to uncover collective assumptions and their underlying rules of engagement.
Her work is characterised by an emphasis on research and analysis that is a legacy of her design background, as well as by her continued engagement with critical theory. Her mode of working covers diverse media—video, 3D printed models, municipal murals and drawings—and subjects as varied as automated telephone systems, American security policy, the memories associated with a family house, and the patterns of Persian carpets.
Ansarinia’s practice is sited upon the fraught faultline between the private realm and its wider socioeconomic context. Even as its concerns have shifted from the intimacy of domesticity to an interest in the built environment, it has maintained an engagement with physicality and materiality. Still, the traces of lived experience—of owners, of residents—remain important. As a whole, the works explore how local iterations of a culture might act as a fulcrum and flashpoint for the hopes and fears of people living in an increasingly, albeit asymmetrically, globalised world.
Born in 1979 in Tehran, Nazgol Ansarinia graduated from the London College of Communication in 2001 before taking a Master of Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco in 2003.
Select exhibitions include: What We Know that We Don’t Know, KADIST, San Francisco, USA Planet 9, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany (2017); Variable Dimensions, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal (2017); Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians, Aga Khan Museum, Canada (2017); The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?), Gwangju Bienniale, Gwangju, Korea (2016); Schnitt Schnitt (Cut Cut), Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany (2016); Metatextile: Ruptured Narratives, Exchanged Values, Edel Assanti, London, UK (2016); Paper Trail, Raffaella Cortese, Milan, Italy (2016); Surfaces & Solids, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2015); DUST at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowsku Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2015); Investment Opportunities at the OFFICE Gallery, Cyprus (2015); Adventure of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2015); Longing Persia, Exchange and reception of art in Persia and Europe in the 17th Century & Contemporary Art from Tehran, Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland (2013); Safar/Voyage, The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2013); When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, USA (2013) & CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA (2012); A Permanent Record For Future Investigation, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2012); Interior Renovations, Tehran, 2010, Green Cardamom, London, UK (2011).
Nazgol Ansarinia was selected for the first MOP/Parasol unit Research Residency in 2014; she took part in the National Pavilion of Iran at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); 10th & 12th Istanbul Biennial (2007 and 2011), and was a recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2009.
Ansarinia has been featured in a number of publications such Contemporary Practices, Bidoun, Asian Art Newspaper, and Financial Times. Her work is included in the collections of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Australia; the British Museum and Tate Modern, London, UK; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, USA;the Devi Art Foundation, Delhi, India.
Nazgol Ansarinia lives and works in Tehran, Iran.