Welcome to the seventh installation of the Artslant podcast series, Working (it) Out.
My name is Gillian Dykeman, and I'm a visual artist living in Toronto, Ontario. This summer, I am interviewing artists to ask about the role of audience in their practice. Each interview will begin with one question: "Does art require an audience?"
Working (it) Out with Gillian Dykeman
Episode Seven | Roya Akbari: Destiny's Child
- The Vivian Maier question (2:00)
- Censorship and the political realities as limiting factors in finding audience (3:00)
- Inner dialogue and intimate dialogue as integral to Akbari’s process (4:50)
- Love Letter (5:05)
- Dropping Off the Face of the Earth (8:42)
- Nomadic experimental film (10:14)
- Evoking empathy and making space for your audience’s baggage (12:52)
- Using the language one feels connected to for intimate speech (15:50)
- Censorship further explored (19:05)
- Is it art if it’s left in a drawer? (20:47)
- Destiny’s Child (21:09)
- Art as therapy: A-OK (22:10)
Roya Akbari is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist. When we met to discuss her work, she brought up important issues around censorship and the politics of what is allowed to be shown where. For Akbari, discourse isn’t a precursor to categorizing a culture product as art. Akbari’s experimental films and installations feel intimate and personal, but withdraw just enough from the edge of explicit to allow space for audience to enter the work. Akbari doesn’t consider audience during process, but rather addresses an aspect of herself, or in the case of Only Image Remains, audience is addressed through a love letter to Iranian Cinema.
Music: War on Drugs, "An Ocean Between the Waves"
Four images above: Film stills from Only Image Remains, 2014, 30 minutes, Color, Farsi / English subtitles
Four images above: Installation views from Dropping Off the Face of the Earth, 2015, 5-channel video installation. Photos: Jesse Boles
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