VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Allahyari, Morehshin

Morehshin Allahyari
Iranian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I was born and raised in Iran. I studied Media Studies at the University of Tehran, then got full scholarship to come and study Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver for my MA. Currently I’m an M.F.A candidate at the University of North Texas. My entrance to the art world comes from creative writing. Now I consider myself more of an interdisciplinary artist. I work in different medium.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I’m not sure when I first saw myself as a writer and possibly an artist, nor was I expecting to carry any label. But in those first years of writing, I experienced the joy of creation and thoughtfulness and became interested in women’s rights, cultural taboos, the conficts of tradition and modernity, and in general literature and art. I understood creation could give me voice to share my thoughts, critique social and cultural issues, have an impact on the society and the world, and lead to a discovery of “self “.

During my MA studies at the University of Denver, I became very interested in video art and animation. Since then (2007), I’ve been working on different kind of projects, bringing together theory and practice.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

Censorship, Home, Not belongingness, Exile, and Politics are some of the topics that I’ve been working on so far, and have made video art and animations about.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I usually start with a concept. I always first fall in love with ideas and theories. Then I start developing the concepts by doing research and reading about that specific concept. Then I usually develop some basic sketches and story boards. But I never have details in my storyboards. The most important growth and changes of the piece, always happens in the process of making the work. I always try to stay open to the idea of momentum, which is what in my opinion, make the process of making art exciting and the final outcome a little bit unpredictable.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

For my animation “Over There Is Over Here” I used After Effects, Maya, Final Cut Pro, and Photoshop. I never use expensive cameras in my video/film works and am not generally interested in HD or visually very beautiful and clean works. My works is usually dark. The world, for me, is not a happy and perfect place either. That’s why I’m not interested in beautiful and prefect images/works.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

7. How do you finance your films?

Grants and fellowships most of the times.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I work individually but am also interested in collaborations and team work.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

The majority of my work being displayed is from the political situation of Iran and the Iranian people. I am also very much influenced by a lot of contemporary animators and video artists.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

To reach a larger amount of audience. Because my work is so much about spreading awareness about the issues that the Iranian youth deal with and to present a balanced-less politically biased perspective of life in Iran.