tannaz farsi: the formal absences of precious things
The third of the 2008 Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist Series

Tannaz Farsi
the formal absences of precious things (2008)
Image courtesy of The Sculpture Center.

Iranian-American Farsi’s starkly white installation the formal absences of precious things can be understood as a virtual world, like a film still on a giant monitor, that conveys a sensation of emptiness and loss. From a central command table, populated only by the molds of two hands and forearms, lengths of tubing run chaotically to huge vinyl balloons, filling them endlessly with air. These are not Andy Warhol’s silver cloud pillows floating joyously in a Merce Cunningham muscular dance. These are empty forms being filled with something that can’t be seen by an unknown force for an unknown purpose.

In this work the artist postulates the similarities between the virtual nature of the memory of things now lost and the virtuality of electronic interfaces, both without immediate, actual objects of association. Videos of prosaic outdoor urban scenes with day changing to night, shot from the artist’s windows, serve as remembrances of what she contemplates each day as she searches to find a reality that remains.

In the 21st century, any object can simply be called up on a screen, and human interactions no longer require direct contact. Our connection with physical reality, even our need for the presence of real things, appears to be fundamentally changing.

Tannaz Farsi
the formal absences of precious things (2008)
Image courtesy of The Sculpture Center.

About the artist
Tannaz Farsi is the Visiting Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Her nationally exhibited installation work will be seen at Gallery 621 (Tallahassee, FL) and Tacoma Contemporary (Tacoma, WA) in 2008. In researching and appropriating cultural iconography, Farsi utilizes non-linear narratives to create installations that focus on the gaze of the individual and its spatial location. Working with air, objects, and the image, she negotiates the invisibility of perception to produce installations that encompass a sense of longing. Her work has been acknowledged with such awards as a research grant from Global Education Travel Opportunities for travel in China and a Nagoya University Research Grant for travel in Japan and an upcoming residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Nebraska. Farsi received her BFA summa cum laude from West Virginia University (2004) and her MFA at Ohio University in Ceramics (2007).

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