Nina Ghanbarzadeh

I Am Alive – (a tribute to Rumi)
pan pastel and pen on frosted mylar
24 x 17.5 in.

Nina Ghanbarzadeh who lives between two cultures (American-Persian) finds herself translating constantly. She tries to avoid this by situating text as a place for shifting perspectives in her art. What is the potential of text when it becomes non-referential beyond specificity and context? When meaning is removed from language it becomes unclear if it is meant to be seen or read? How communication gets affected when written text steps out of its traditional function? Would it be possible to communicate without being concerned with legibility or translation? Would the art have the same impact if the original language was to be replaced with a different one? Is it even necessary to translate when text acts as color or shapes in work of art? What happens when written text is being treated as an object?

Ghanbarzadeh uses her writings as repetitive lines of text that unfold into pattern and shapes. These shapes have different entities and are nothing similar to their origin. She also uses pure paint and the act of writing to create abstract installations that are devoid of legibility.

The phrases and text that she uses have deep roots in Sufism. They all seek the universal truth and the very existence of humans in this world.

© Nina Ghanbarzadeh