P/ainting in the U.S.A., 2018, single-channel HD video, sound. 30min
P/ainting in the U.S.A. (working title) In her most recent video work, Shagha Ariannia investigates the performance of American patriotism through a layered composition of painting and YouTube videos. Setting the scene is a painted depiction of an artist’s studio, which Ariannia replicated from an Iranian pre-revolutionary music video. (Pol (The Bridge) by Googoosh, 1975). The staged backdrop, heavily influenced by modernist aesthetics, carries with it the aspiration for Western ideologies. Through the painted copy, Ariannia reimagines the desire of her parent’s generation while also relocating it within her own narrative of displacement. The painted scene is then layered with a compilation of American YouTube painting tutorials, demonstrating how to paint the American Flag. The two scenes blend together and become a fictionalized landscape, where the collective performance of American patriotism is both gently and violently demonstrated over Ariannia’s painting.