Is there something beautiful about an explosion? This is one of many questions raised in an ambitious, site-specific installation by San Francisco artist Sanaz Mazinani presented at the Asian Art Museum between March 27 and May 3, 2015. Threshold presents a video created with explosion scenes from 11 recent Hollywood movies, mirrored and multiplied beyond recognition. The resulting kaleidoscopic Islamic geometries of color, pattern and movement—inspired by the artist’s trips home to Iran—are reflected in dazzling laser-cut mirrored panels that line the space. This interplay between the architectural setting and the moving image results in a shift in perception, prompting audiences to consider the complexities of entertainment, mass media and the violence of war. This video documents the installation as well as the collaboration between Mazinani and dancer/choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith, titled Crossing Threshold.
Sanaz Mazinani is a San Francisco-based artist. She works primarily in photography, video and large-scale installations. Her practice explores the relationship between perception and representation, responding to site, sight and insight, especially in relation to digital culture. She has received awards and honors from the Canada Council for the Arts, D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities, Kala Art Institute, Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, Stanford University and San Francisco Arts Commission.
Bobbi Jene Smith has danced with the Batsheva Dance Company based in Tel Aviv, Israel since 2006, and is authorized by Ohad Naharin to teach his Gaga movement language and set his choreography. Her early dance training took place at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes.