Seemingly objective, capable of straightforward picturing, photographs are presumed to be self-evident in the meaning they convey. Described in semiological terms as having an indexical (one-to-one) relationship to the things they represent, photographs are always bearers of a (photographic) truth, but they are also inherently deceptive entities due to what they leave out and the built-in biases of each photographer.
To fight against this, Toronto and San Francisco-based artist Sanaz Mazinani finds ingenious ways to articulate the act of looking at photographs. Choreographing viewer engagement with the image, she builds into each encounter a process of critical reassessment. Site, Sight, and Insight presents a series of lessons on how the visual language of photography functions as a process, one that is ideologically informed and susceptible to undoing. In works that are seductive, revelatory and politically-informed, Mazinani presents differing approaches to the task of foregrounding an understanding of photography as a cultural construct.
Sanaz Mazinani is a visual artist, curator, and educator based in Toronto and San Francisco. She holds her undergraduate degree from Ontario College of Art & Design University and her MFA from Stanford University. Mazinani’s work explores the relationship between perception and representation. Working primarily in photography and large-scale installations, her practice intersects conceptual and formal boundaries of the photographic image in response to site, sight, and insight, especially in relation to digital culture.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries such as Art & Architecture Library at Stanford University; Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; University of Toronto Art Centre; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Mazinani’s artwork has been written about in Border Crossings, Nueva Luz, NOW Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Dide. Most recently, Mazinani was named a 2012/2013 Fellow at the Kala Art Institute, short listed for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, and was awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission Art on Market Street for 2013/2014.