Nasim Nasr

b. 1984 in Tehran, Iran
Working in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia
Showing at Asia Society Museum
On view October 27, 2020, through February 7, 2021
Nasim Nasr

Nasim Nasr, 33 Beads (Unworried) #2 (video still), 2018. HD single-channel video, no sound. Duration: 2 minutes, 35 seconds, loop. Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist

Nasim Nasr uses her experience as a diasporic artist to illuminate the complexities associated with a multivalent identity and how cultural differences in the East and West have the potential to produce disjuncture within the global community. The artist utilizes video, photography, performance, sculpture, installation, and sound to illustrate the ways that divergent cultural interpretations of objects and actions impact their meaning by decontextualizing ethnically specific behaviors as a means to reveal hidden truths. The artist received a BA in graphic design from the Tehran University of Art in 2006 and an MA in visual arts, architecture, and design from the University of South Australia, Adelaide, in 2011.

What to Do? is a seven-channel video installation that deconstructs the predominately male practice of carrying tasbih (religious prayer beads, also known as “worry beads”) as a religious and psychological tool to allay anxiety. The monitors, hung at waist height, feature anonymous men’s hands fingering the beads. This imagery conjures the commonalities of prayer among different faiths, from Islam to Buddhism to Catholicism. A related work from 2018, 33 Beads (Unworried) #1, is a single-channel video that also features worry beads. However, in this iteration a group of women grasp and ultimately destroy the talismans, metaphorically defying patriarchal traditions.