How would you present your work?
It’s a complex process of collage, assemblage, and montage. I also apply the same strategies to the logic of the work’s presentation. There are external conditions; within these I collect a constellation of images and items. Each object accrues meaning only in regard to its interrelation with others. It’s a little environment, a space of memory.
I like to play with the idea of perception in relation to the body, how new subjectivities arise as you orient and re-orient your body in relation to the work. Because every individual is the product of power, what we need now is to de-individualize by means of multiplication and displacement. It is about connecting things that were previously isolated. It’s like when you are asleep: you are there in your bed physically, but at the same time detached and separated. That specific situation makes you dream.
I'm very interested in the philosophical and formal complexity of what presentation is in regard to each individual work. I want to make a society of multiples in order to create a new language to perceive materials and space, thereby creating a sequence of relationships.
Where do you make your works?
The ideas and materials come to me from outside the studio. The process of making is somewhat playful. I collect materials and information from different places in different times. Sometimes parts of the execution of the work take place in various locations, often outdoors. It is always in flux. The final presentation of the works also changes in regard to spaces they attend.
What can’t be missing from your worktable?
Scissors, cutters, knives, and sometimes glue-gun. It is a violent process.
A collection you wish at least one work of yours was part of?
It is always great to be part of other artists' collections. I am so glad to have some of my works in the hands of great artists. It always brings a massive energy to your practice and thoughts. And I love to exchange and trade with other artist friends. I have a small collection of wonderful works that talk to me and I am lucky to have been related to the time and the process of their existence.
A museum where you’d like to have an exhibition?
The market or your need to express?
I’m not interested in the market. However, as artists we are all unavoidably part of a network, so we have to consider the processes of dissemination and circulation that we are bound up in.
Lightness or depth?
You don’t have to choose. I prefer the state of transition and conflict between textures, gestures and moods.
Day or night?
Sunset. I pursue the vanishing God in vain. And I have a special attachment to reading, thinking, and making art at night.
Indians or cowboys?
Did you really ask me that? I think I have to choose space aliens.
A question you’ve never been asked but one you’ve always wanted to answer?
Which of my eyes do I trust?
Answer that question...
My left eye is my mouth.
Could you briefly describe one of your latest works?
I work on a new kind of subjectivity that is in the process of being subtracted, deconstructed, and transformed. It has the agency to activate spaces and to bring radical changes and thoughts.
“We must die as egos and be born again in the swarm, not separate and self-hypnotized, but individual and related.” –Henry Miller
What are you reading?
The Witch’s Cradle by Maya Deren,1943.
And the Italian films Black Sunday by Mario Bava (also called The Mask of Satan), 1960, and Suspiria by Dario Argento (1977).
Right now I am very interested in giallo, the postwar Italian genre that usually features a murder mystery and often includes elements of horror fiction and eroticism.
Giallo feature madness, alienation, sexuality, and paranoia—the victims are usually women.
Where would you like to live?
In my fragmented body.
Do you have reference artists? Artists you’d like to work with?
Yes, there are artists whose life-long practice I’ve followed, as well as younger artists whose work I am interested in. I love collaborations and doing group projects.
A project, related to art, that you’d like to do?
I have been invited to do the set and costume design for an eco-performance written by a friend. It is always very interesting to collaborate with other artists in a bigger project where different elements gather to make something happen. I'm very interested in the spontaneous and intuitive process of making that opens up new dialogues.
If you weren’t an artist, what job would you like?
I always do other things, so in that case there are unlimited possibilities. Being an artist is all about a lot of psychological and physical work and it’s multidimensional. I'm interested in its complexity and transparency.
Let’s imagine a group show. Whom would you like to exhibit with?
This kind of collaboration is not a fantasy for me; it’s something I pursue very actively. Sometimes you show with artists that you never knew before and that can be interesting. You get to meet new, fresh minds. I get to be surprised by their lives, ideas, and art practice. If I like someone’s work, I want to know where they make it, how they make living, what questions they have about their current art-making, and what they read and watch.
Yes or no to curators? If yes, whom would you choose?
I curate sometimes and it is always a very collective process. I say yes if I feel it’s right for me and my work; sometimes it’s not.
A dream of yours?
To keep dreaming.
I have had the exact same dream on and off since childhood: flying very fast over rivers, bridges, and buildings when my body crashes but somehow I still keep flying. The experience of being in my body in dreams is so different from everyday life. I like that the sensation doesn’t cross over to reality. It is a desire, a fantasy, and therefore should remain as a dream. It is all about desire and death.
Ala Dehghan, Snow Melt with Its Image Upside Down, 2015 Mixed media, 69 cm x115 cm
Ala Dehghan, Somewhere Between Melting Eyes and Brushstrokes, 2015 Mixed media, 66 x 130 cm