Bahar Noorizadeh: governance machines and the future of futures

17 November 2018 - 19 January 2019
Opening Reception 16 November 2018 7pm

Mercer Union is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Bahar Noorizadeh whose engaging, multi-layered film and video works use speculation and phantasmic computer-generated imagery to collide and reframe disparate histories. Her first solo exhibition in Canada premieres her newest works Ultima Ratio Δ Mountain of the Sun (2017) and After Scarcity (2018).

In Ultima Ratio Δ Mountain of the Sun (2017), the camera traverses Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, recording its age-old industries of hashish, a mind-altering substance that affects the visual field. This documentary footage is cut with computer-generated 3D objects, an optic that seeks to discover what can be seen anew in its vivid, particled fields of matter.

Noorizadeh’s newest film, After Scarcity (2018), is a sci-fi essay film that tracks Soviet cyberneticians (1950s – 1980s) and their attempt to build a fully-automated planned economy. If history at its best is a blueprint for science-fiction, revisiting histories of economic technology might enable an access to the future. The film speculates ways in which infrastructures of labour and production can be modelled through techno-industries and their modes of governance, in order to find new ways of building coalitions under precarious working conditions that characterize the contemporary world.

Bahar Noorizadeh (Iran/Canada) is an artist, writer and filmmaker. She works on the reformulation of hegemonic time narratives as they collapse in the face of speculation: philosophical, financial, legal, futural, etc. Noorizadeh’s practice traces the relationship between aesthetics and reason, and the desubjectification of experience as a pathway for producing new social subjects. Her work has appeared in the Tate Modern Artists’ Cinema Program, London (2018); Berlinale Forum Expanded, Berlin (2018); Biennale of Moving Images, Geneva (2016); Nanjing International Art Festival (2016); Beirut Art Center (2016); National Gallery of Art, Washington (2016); and Toronto International Film Festival (2015), among others. Noorizadeh’s current research examines the intersections of finance, Contemporary Art and emerging technology via shared imperatives of systemic regulation. She is pursuing this work as a PhD candidate in Art Practice at Goldsmiths University of London.

Bahar Noorizadeh would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country

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Image: Bahar Noorizadeh, still from After Scarcity, 2018. Digital video. Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Geneva.