VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Vatankhah, Parya

Parya Vatankhah
Iranian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

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

It isn’t important how old and where I am – works of art have always inspired me. I have always felt passion for art. I used to stare out of my window and think about the people sleeping, their happiness, their sadness. I wanted to see everyone cheerful and merry and could cry for hours for someone’s misery. I was only 12!

How time flies when you do what you love with all your heart… Even if their motives are your anguish, grief and pain, and others’…Even when your thoughts are dark.
With a smiling and calm face, I am turbulent inside, filled with pain and longing… Longing for good days and pains of me and of us…. And art is sometimes my way of freeing from these thoughts.

I have grown up in a family and an environment full of books, poetry, art and paintings. I took electrical engineering as my major in the university but couldn’t continue. It wasn’t meant for me. I studied history of art on the nights before my exams and sketched instead of solving engineering problems. Therefore I decided to follow the path I truly loved. Knowing this would be regarded as a rebellious act in my family, I secretly dropped out of engineering and prepared for the entry exam of the art school.

I studied for Bachelor’s degree and Master of Painting for 6 years in Azad Art and Architecture of Tehran, and during this period I had many solo and group exhibitions. After my studies , I worked as a professor in Tehran universities for 4 years. But it was not enough for me. I needed new experiences, new world, and I needed to see art works. I left Iran in 2009 for France, where I studied for my second Master of Art plastique, and studied video art.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

In 2009, in France, but I had this idea for more than 5 years before I started filming. I didn’t have the opportunity to start at that time. I had known video art from Shirin Neshat’s works. After more discoveries, I found out that I love working with camera and with people in my works.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

By now, my work is about women, about me, about my feelings of my experiences in life. I have had very difficult periods in my life, losing my parents and…. My work is about death, metamorphosis, and dualities…. Of course there is the effect of my country and its situation in my works too.

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

I am a visual artist, I am a painter, I create my videos as I would work on canvas, my style is my mind.

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

Oh I have used a handi HDV camera, using tapes. I work with Adobe Premiere.
I don’t use very complicated things, but it is just for now. I hope in the future I can use more posibilities and technologies.

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”)

I must say that I am attracted by video art more than other kinds of contemporary art. I think it is a powerful way to say what’s on your mind. Now video art has found its place in the arts and I think It will have progress too. Me, I want to work with this interesting media in the future.

7. How do you finance your films?

I have done it by myself, In fact I don’t know how I can have sponsors and other help! But I hope to find some help, because I have a lot of ideas….

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, I have worked individually, but I like to work in a team in the future, for sure.

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

This is the sound! The movement! It is more real than canvas, you can move in video! You can fill your artistry, you can enter it and you can walk in its space! It is so magical and interesting. It is more alive than the classic forms of arts! About the artists, I like the videos of Alysse Stepanian for sure, Alice Anderson, and Shirin Neshat , ….

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

I am going to continue making video art. For my next project I need other artists, I need someone who would create music for me. I think my dream is making my next video.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources: