Meet Tara Vatanpour our April 2020 and first ever artist in residence. Visit us on Instagram to see highlights from the residency. Full residency publication will become available soon on our website.
Persian-Azari, American and French artist
Tara Vatanpour practises multidisciplinary art through photography, installations, drawings, sculptures, paintings, video, ceramics and performances. She reflects on trauma, memory, immigration and intimacy.
Through her own perspective, she examines methods across memory to visually represent the phenomenon of trauma, and the way we live our human lives. She has previously exhibited in Venice, Paris and London.
Tara grew up speaking Farsi, Azari, and English. She also spoke French with her mother sometimes and at school. Her mother is from Tabriz and her father from Tehran. Once the revolution took place, they fled Iran. They also visited family in the US and were therefore introduced to American culture and built a 2nd home in LA. She has also lived in London, Berlin and has now been based in Paris for almost two years.
When Tara was younger she attended “Ateliers du Carrousel” courses weekly. Through these classes she acquired long life drawing skills, an ability to use all artistic mediums and develop a language throughout them that can build and shape her long-term artistic research. Over the years, she developed inspirations such as Jonas Mekas, through whom she identified reality as a film sequence, a fractured series of images, and a rhythm of voices. Meanwhile, the images of Joh Balessari reflected her a boldness that she didn’t have.
Her work at that time involved nothing personal, purely school matters such as nude drawings, landscapes, small architectures. During high school she was torn between literature-philosophical-ancient language studies as opposed to the arts. She made the choice to choose action as opposed to theory, which determined the course of the following years of studies.
She went to Prep’ Art Paris for a year and then two other years at the National Superior School of Fine Arts in Bourges, France.
In those years, the gap between the cultures she grew up with and the trauma it brought up began to be clear in her heart and visible in her work. She started using the tools she had and the space at school to explore the themes of trauma, darkness, intimacy, without yet being able to define a clear course of her research. Unfortunately, heavy health problems forced her to take a pause in her studies.
Later she made the decision to take her career into a serious possibility of it happening - by sharing and gathering information on how to become a professional artist, how to be visible in institution and how to, by being visible, being of service to others through her art in some way.
Her first collective exhibit was with collective Action Hybride in “I am my body, I am my memory” in Venice, for the Biennale, in 2019.
She was then featured in the exhibition “The Death of Art” by Sweet Art Gallery, and then for the second time with Action Hybride, she performed and exhibited her performance “Invasive Trauma” at 59 Rivoli Gallery in Paris.