Alinah Azadeh is a British artist of Iranian heritage whose work uses visual, performance and digital media to open up fresh ways of relating to loss, longing and our social and cultural identities.
Ritual, gift and materiality are central to her work. Installations such as The Gifts (Bristol Museum, 2010 and Hangzhou Museum, China, 2013), Child’s Play (2014, Imperial War Museum North/ Asia Triennial Manchester) and her smaller sculptures, use the ritual act of wrapping personal, ‘deceased’ objects in cloth to articulate grief and express the conflicting desire to both remember and separate from the past.
Burning the Books (2011- 15) was a touring performance work questioning the power of debt by engaging the public in the collective writing, reciting and ritual burning of nine volumes of a Book of Debts. All about The Gift (2015), was a participatory takeover of the Freud Museum, London which explored the social, anthropological and psychoanalytic dimensions of gift and generosity, and All Is not Lost (Museum of Picardy, 2014) invited the public to destroy the work by gifting it to them over a period of two months. Other public commissions include The Loom: from Text to Textile (2005), Portraits of The Unseen (2010, The National Portrait Gallery), and Race Relations / Suffrage Banner works for The Beginnings of That Freedome (2015, Westminster Hall).
Since 2014, Azadeh has been researching and developing work which challenges current, pervasive narratives of division, prejudice and violence. Supported by King’s Cultural Institute, GHF Foundation for Peace, Arts Council England and via a residency at artist group Blast Theory, this has fed into her residency for RISING, and its outcome, Where There is a Ruin, during the event.
Azadeh is an Associate Fellow at the Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, London and the founder of the upcoming Museum of Lost Spaces.