Niloufar Mousavi talks about her solo exhibition in Mojdeh Art Gallery titled “Situation” with Parviz Barati

Voluminous Expression of Female Language

Voluminous Expression of Female Language

Women's art has tried different ways during these years and has gone through many hidden paths. Of course, being a female artist has its own challenges; Especially when the artist does not want to be a mere observer. These days, Mojdeh Art Gallery has exhibited the sculptures of "Niloufar Mousavi" with the title "Situation". An artist who expresses the lived experiences of women in the form of volumes, and each of her works narrates a different geography. Mousavi resolves narrative norms and generic rules into an amazing volume of visual manipulations, and it is actually through this path that she is able to show herself to be both effective and affected. All ten sculptures of this exhibition were made in 2021 and 2022 and they are made of bronze. Niloufar Mousavi was born in 1991 in Tehran. She completed her studies in the field of graphics and has participated in more than six group exhibitions and expos of Iranian sculptors. This exhibition is open until August 3rd in Mojdeh Art Gallery. You are reading our conversation with this sculptor.

- Contemporary sculpting is a transition from memory to experience. This is the point we see in your recent exhibition in Mojdeh Art Gallery...

Naturally, memory like and decorative works move less towards experience and experimentation; Most of them establish the relationship between architecture and sculpture. But in the contemporary era, the conceptual understanding of art, as well as the connection of sculptors' minds to social issues, has caused sculpture to reflect a specific experience and situation.

- How was the initial idea of the exhibition formed?

In fact, I started sculpting in the workshop of a friend of mine in 2018, and from the very beginning of classes and making sculptures, they told me to develop an idea and expand it so that a collection can be created from it. Basically, women's issues and the relationship between women have always been a concern for me. In 2020, in my first group exhibition, I represented the works of horned women, which focused on the issue of relationships between women.

- Whenever we talk about relationships between women, the story takes a negative turn; Especially when it comes to female jealousy. Is this exhibition a criticism of a woman to other women?

The initial show of my work had a critical tone about the relationships between women. Now I am not saying that all women are like this; But in any case, I am a woman myself and I saw this issue in my surroundings, and therefore these sculptures unconsciously emphasized the problematic aspects of women's life. The further we came, the issue of gender discrimination against women and honor killings became more prominent to me; That women suffer from anger, violence and oppression from outside and from the opposite sex. This idea was actually formed when my first sculpture in 2020 was presented at the sculpture expo from this collection.

- Did you decide to expand the idea of the 2020 sculptures?

Yes, it actually started from there until today.

- In the field of sculpture, you mentioned the classes you completed in 2018. Who were those classes with?

I definitely started sculpting with professors Mohsen Gholami and Mrs. Mitra Arbab. I still work with these dear ones and they are my teachers and I learned sculpting there.

- How were these bronze sculptures technically formed?

We make these sculptures out of dough. Modeling is with dough and we make a silicone mold and cast that mold and then give it to the caster.

- Explain the concept of these works; What role and meaning do these nails have in the whole of each statue?

The choice of the nail as an element that evokes the state of being beaten and under pressure and tilted. I have called these works female figures made of "nails". This repressed element forms the set of "Situation". A not so balanced situation that is the lived experience of women; which is the result of the restrictive structure of society, traditions and pressures that are displayed in the form of bending in the body and the geographical demarcation of the foundations.

- We carefully see in the works of the exhibition that there is no mention of women's tenderness and subtleties...

This collection was formed based on the theoretical approach of "feminism" with a conscious inversion that shows the distinction of female experience from visual beauty even as a repressed body that has an aesthetic burden even in its most difficult state. These works focus on the connection of women's discourse and its connection with the space in which they live. Such a discourse is deposited in the heart of verbal language and it is in this way that the voluminous expression of feminine language is born, it has undergone tensions, collapses and breaks.

- Women's system is the builder of civilization and poetry and poeticts, and the poetic system create the mind. In your sculptures, do women play a role contrary to this concept?

My view of women has been that they are the builders of civilization. As a woman, I believe in my abilities. Consider the foundation of the family, how important and influential women can be in it. In the society, we can also consider such a role for women.

- The base of each statue looks like a map of a certain place. Do you have a specific geographic reference in mind?

These are the boundaries that we have drawn around ourselves! I was not referring to a specific geographical point. Although I think this discrimination that exists comes from the geography and culture associated with it; But geography does not specifically refer to Iran or any other country, and these things may happen all over the world. I am an Iranian woman and I see my own country; while these issues exist in India, Pakistan and many other countries.

- This is your first solo exhibition. How did you enter the Mojdeh Art Gallery? Did you apply or..?

I was introduced to the gallery by my friend Donya Moshrefi, who is the curator of this exhibition.

- Sculpture with bronze is a heavy work in terms of material and cost. Did you have a special sponsor?

My supporter is my husband and my family.

- Did you experiment with other material?

I worked with fiberglass, which was also with silicone paste and molds; But I have not experimented with wood, stone and other materials.

- Did you have any particular difficulty in the path you took leading to your first solo exhibition?

Honestly, I had collected this collection before 2022 and it was supposed to be exhibited at the same time, but the events of last year and the closing of the galleries prevented the exhibition from happening. One of the difficulties was the postponement of the exhibition; Because it was supposed to be held in November 2022.

-How do you see the future of your work?

The feedback of this exhibition is important to me. But concern and hope have embodied my whole life; Although there are discriminations and inequalities against women. I will definitely continue this collection and there are no other mediums in my work. I will focus on sculpting in the future.


source etemad newspaper