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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

Sanaz Sohrabi's new film One Image, Two Acts is screening at RIDM

The GEM Lab is proud to announce that lab member and resident artist Sanaz Sohrabi’s new film, One Image, Two Acts, will be available to screen online from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, as part of RIDM’s (Montreal International Documentary Festival) “Disrupting History” program. You can link to the film here. The RIDM is one of North America’s leading documentary film festivals, and we invite you to support Sanaz and all of the other artists who are working within this new online format. Sanaz will also be participating in a discussion with filmmaker Onyeke Igwe on November 14th at 3PM, in which the two artists will discuss their work.

About the film: In this fascinating archival deep-dive, Iranian artist Sanaz Sohrabi analyzes the role of images produced in the 20th century by oil companies operating in Iran as an arm of British colonialism. Sohrabi creates and comments on collages and installations made from films and photographs produced by British Petroleum (BP), particularly in the city of Abadan, in southwestern Iran. Do these archival materials present a reliable narrative? In the process of erasing a history of abuse, oppression and segregation, they paint a homogeneous, monopolistic picture of prosperity and “petromodernity.” This tightly controlled perspective, just as calculated and pervasive as the exploitation of land and people, raises essential questions about the right to images and one’s own history. (Charlotte Selb)

About the filmmaker: Sanaz Sohrabi is an artist and interdisciplinary researcher who works across moving/still image practices, video and installation to analyze the status of moving image as a gateway to a larger investigation around the role of archives as the materials of times and spaces of spectatorship. Sohrabi looks at visual traces, acts of view­er­ship and their rec­i­p­ro­cal dis/reap­pear­ances to in­ves­ti­gate the im­per­ma­nence and mal­leabil­ity of archival records and his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tives. Per­form­ing history via memory and animating the pace of memory through desta­bi­liz­ing the residual archives have been at the core of her practice-based research and writing.

She received her BFA from Uni­ver­sity of Tehran, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a PhD student at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, where she works across Visual and Cultural Studies, Studio Arts and Art History. She has been awarded a number of fellowships and artist residencies including: ZK/U Berlin (2018), SOMA Summer School Ciudad de México (2017), Est-Nord-Est résidence d’artistes (2016), Vermont Studio Center (2015) and Chicago Artist coalition Bolt Program (2014-2015), among others. Selected ex­hi­bi­tions and festivals include Videonale 16 Bonn, Fiva 06 Buenos Aires (first prize for short film), Halifax In­de­pen­dent Film­mak­ers Festival 2017, Images festival 2017 Toronto, Transart Triennale 16 Berlin, Expo Chicago 2013, and Beirut Art Center.

still from the film (


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