Sonia Balassanian is now undoubtedly part of the history of modern Iranian art. However, she never found a place in the logic and framework of her own time because she avoided predetermined and prevalent definitions and concepts of the era she lived in. Between the hardship of freedom and the lethargy of stability, she chose the former, and her artistic portfolio is evidence of this choice. Her constant state of displacement too was not unrelated to her decision. Her selection of freedom and its hardships resulted in her loss of a homeland – even though she does not agree with this interpretation of lacking a country. I believe the central construct of her work is rooted in her displacement, a painful and at the same time pleasurable condition that puts her in the position of a victim. Gender, race, and language are issues that characterize immigrants and in an overtly political world, these differences become extreme. Balassanian has spent years searching for herself among these topics through the concept of victimhood.
Part of “Changing Geographical Coordinates”, Shahrouz Nazari’s conversation with Sonia Balasssanian