At “Inspector Sorrow”, the current show at the A.I.R. Gallery, Negin Sharifzadeh, accessorizes seemingly insignificant objects, such as a typography drawer, or mundane situations, such as visiting a dental office, into ephemera of an imagined sci-fi noir film. The film is based on a detective story “entangled in quantum level simulations born out of tiny cubes.” The detective has had her consciousness copied into these cubes during a particularly hellish trip to the dentist, who has been bribed by the stories’ femme fatale. Walking through the room the story reveals itself in a multimedia installation including a video projection. As one interacts with the puzzling narration through the objects, the video assigns new roles and new meaning to them. The show is an outgrowth of Sharifzadeh’s earlier work, creating sculptural installations, served as a fragmented narrative to which the audience is invited to enter.
Like other works of science fiction, Inspector Sorrow’s connection to the past and present generates meaning and creates an atmosphere in which one can benefit from being an outsider to the fictional future, to reflect on the nonfictional present. The story takes place in the future of 2253, where biotech has turned the 1% into undying Eternals, whose unending lives are ever more removed from the fully human proletariat.
“I projected myself to this fiction through the Sorrow being my alter ego. The sci-fi genre allows me to criticize contemporary socioeconomic reality” Negin says.
This resonates with the idea of AIR, shortened from “Artist in Residence,” which was the sign that Fire Department of New York used in the 1960s to mark artistoccupied raw industrial lofts and former warehouses in SOHO that did not have fire protection. When AIR Gallery was established in 1972 as an alternative artist run space, this name was chosen to manifest its mission to alter a preexisting space. New York commercial art scene and evergrowing capitalist economy which were changing the New York as a city both were pushing out “alternative” voices and erasing diversity.
“After much discussion, the founding member of the name A.I.R Gallery, to announce that woman were now permanent residents in the art world”
The fellowship program, as Jane Swavely, member of the fellowship committee and chair of the board of directors at AIR gallery puts it “is in fact one of the central cornerstones of A.I.R.’s mission.” Jacqueline Ferrante added that the A.I.R. Fellowship Program is “open to serving the community of emerging or underrepresented selfidentified female artists.”
At “Inspector Sorrow,” Negin Sharifzadeh, Iran born artist and a recent fellow of the AIR program has chose sci-fi as a fictional alternative to reflect on the nonfiction. The show places the audience in the role of detectives working to piece together what is really going on. The show is on view through July 30, 2016.