Shagha Ariannia
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.

Born and raised in Iran, Shagha Ariannia is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work explores the complex landscape of nationhood through questions of citizenship, national identity, global power relations and the fantasy of immigration. As a post 9/11 Iranian immigrant to the United States, Ariannia regards political and cultural identity as a site on which to play and struggle. Through drawings, paintings and video, she considers the ironies of war, participation in state-sanctioned ideologies, and the Du Boisian notion of "double consciousness”. Her works have been exhibited at the Vincent Price Art Museum, University of California Irvine; LAXART; 18th Street Art Center; Commonwealth and Council; the Torrance Art Museum (all in Los Angeles); Galarie der Hochschule, Braunschweig, Germany; and Gallery MOMO, Capetown. She received her MFA from CalArts and BA from the University of California, Irvine. She is a 2016 recipient for the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists.