Photo Feature: Sanaz Mazinani ‘Signal to Noise’ at SF Camerawork

by Admin on 03/04/2017




For this site-specific exhibition, Mazinani presents an array of artworks based on images mined from the Internet and transformed into dazzling, intricately patterned three-dimensional photo montage evocative of traditional Islamic ornamentation. Through a process-intensive method of creating original patterns, Mazinani dissects our normative experience of news images within the ubiquity of the digital age. In this exhibition at SF Camearwork, Mazinani’s intention is to create a transformative experience in the gallery and to provide visitors with a contemplative step away from the inundating disruption of the current moment.


Sanaz Mazinani (BA, MFA) is an artist, curator, and educator born in Tehran, Iran and based in San Francisco. Her work in photography, public art, and large-scale multimedia installations engage conceptual and formal boundaries of the photographic image. Mazinani’s work addresses the destabilizing effects of the media in portraying conflict and politics especially as they are communicated across cultural divides. Her practice focuses on the study of digital photographic propagation and its impact on representation and perception.  Using the visual language of her Iranian roots to activate cultural exchange and a better understanding of contemporary Iran, she creates geometric patterns by sequentially pairing, repeating, mirroring, and multiplying her source material.  These patterns go beyond the representational in symbolizing Islamic ornamentation to speak to the culturally-specific ideology of transfiguration and the transitory nature of being.


The core of Mazinani’s work is the transformation of streaming, popular media imagery into formal, aestheticized objects of art. Her works exploit the parallels of dissociation that occur between the experience of an event and its photographic record, and the means by which repetition, as a media strategy, can affect our association with content. Her dynamically patterned montages take on a language of their own, transcending the original content of the hundreds of images of which they are comprised. Mazinani creates her own ethereal visual response to the complex and woven relationships of modern existence in a globalized world.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Zellerbach Community Arts Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.

SANAZ MAZINANI, ‘Signal to Noise’, Through April 22, 2017