Conversation with Artists Azin Seraj and Ruth Liberman
Moderated by Tara Kohn and Björn Krondorfer
In conjunction with the exhibit Echoes of Loss, please join co-curators Björn Krondorfer, NAU’s Director of the Martin-Springer Institute and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, and Tara Kohn, the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art History at Bowdoin College, in conversation with participating artists Azin Seraj and Ruth Liberman.
Ruth Liberman, originally from Frankfurt, Germany, works with appropriated texts to explore the reverberations of suffering contained within language itself. In the select pieces Word Shot and Untitled Book, she frames questions about the desire for revenge that often rises as a dark and overwhelming force in the aftermath of traumatic rupture. She transforms the textures and tones of language by shooting words through with bullets or allowing them to spill and slide together until they become illegible, inky marks.
Born and raised in Iran, Azin Seraj is a Canadian citizen who lives and works in Oakland, California. As a new media artist, she explores echoes of loss as a series of repetitions. Reiterations of light and sound become increasingly layered as they develop in her time-based work. Her video installation featured in the exhibit, Prima Materia, evokes the alchemical processes of transmutation—of transformation and healing—through overlapping images of fire, ice, and strips of fabric marked by Farsi inscriptions that repeat a mantra of darkness and loss.
Both artists engage in conceptual art practices that center on the structure of language and complex collisions of images and ideas. Pain lingers in their dense works even as the narrative content remains elusive—obscured, pierced, punctured, blurred, burned, melted, and shot through.
This event is free and open to the public.