1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5
Rojin Shafiei is an interdisciplinary artist/filmmaker originally from Iran. Shafiei received her BFA in Intermedia from Concordia University in 2017 and is currently an MFA candidate in Film Production at York University. Her work has been screened internationally in various festivals such as les Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois (Canada), Festival International de Vidéo de Casablanca (Morocco), Limited Access Video Festival (Iran) and Instant Vidéo Numériques et Poétiques (France). In 2019 she was the Venice Lands Art Prize candidate in Treviso, Italy and she won the grand prize of Startupfest/Artupfest section in July 2018 for her piece “I wait for the time.”
Approach and works on display
In Shafiei’s work, art is a vehicle for the translation of cultural messages as an Iranian immigrant based in Canada and for the presentation of diverse feminine subjectivity. These themes are manifested through a literal documentary style and as symbols in different mediums. Particularly inspired by the observation of routines on both individuals and cities, her practice draws heavily on research and cultural exploration. Similarly, her reactions to everyday life, socio-political issues and personal experiences, as a woman, of living in both the Middle East and North America is an incentive to create a new work and to discover new ways of working with moving images, photography, performance, sound, text and installations.
My grandma, my Mom and I (2019)
Inspired by Dennis Oppenheim*’s performance Transfer Drawing in 70s – interaction between the artist and his offspring through kinaesthetic motion of drawing onto each body, Shafiei created a performance with her mother and her grandmother who had waited for a long time in Iran to reunite with her family in Canada. After asking her grandmother to describe life in one word, Shafiei guessed the word and wrote it back on her grandmother’s forehead. This action was performed in turn between these three women. As seen in the photographs, the result of the performance is presented in three words: صبر (patience), حرکت (movement) and تلاش (effort) written in Persian, adding symbolism of sharing experience, emotions and heritage.