Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Momentum Tulsa Spotlight 2010: Tara Najd Ahmadi

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) organizes Momentum to foster Oklahoma’s young artistic talent. Featuring artists ages 30 and younger working in all media, Momentum Tulsa will be held at Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Brady on October 9, 8 pm – Midnight.

To encourage artists to develop in-depth projects, OVAC created Momentum Spotlight, through which the three selected artists each receive an honorarium of $1,750 and several months of interaction with the curators. This year’s lead curator is Shannon Fitzgerald, an independent curator living in Oklahoma City and formerly Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Sarah Jesse serves as the Emerging Curator. Jesse is a writer and educator working as the Bernson Director of Education and Public Programs at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa.

Tara Ahmadi in her studio during a visit with the Momentum Curators.
The first of the three Momentum Spotlight artists to be featured is Tara Najd Ahmadi. Ahmadi is an Iranian artist currently living in Norman, OK as a student at the University of Oklahoma working towards her master of fine arts in media. Her Momentum Spotlight project, Anti-Consume Tale, is a stop-motion animation film presented in three episodes. Each episode of the film illustrates an act of cultural consumption and the loss of relationships with objects.

“Cultural objects (like books, cassettes, disks) are not nostalgic and intimate for us anymore,” said Ahmadi. “They have changed form to products that have to be consumed and replaced fast, they have to be processed, digested and thrown away.”

To create the animations, Ahmadi is making paper cut-out puppets which will move in a three-dimensional environment. Through conversations with the curators, Ahmadi says her ideas about cultural consumption have developed and expanded to include both her eastern experience and the western experience of the curators.

Still from Tara Ahmadi's stop-motion animation for Momentum Spotlight.

“Cultural consumption is a reality that is happening all around the world,” she said, “and I think putting all these experiences and thoughts together can add a lot to the body of work. I enjoyed the discussions with Shannon about other artists and philosophers who have played with this idea before.”

View more of Tara Ahmadi’s work on her website at www.tararts.blogspot.com.

Momentum Tulsa 2010 will be held at Living Arts of Tulsa October 9-23, with the opening event on October 9 from 8 pm-Midnight. Visit www.MomentumOklahoma.org for more information. Read more about the Spotlight artists in the Sept/Oct issue of Art Focus Oklahoma here.

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