Friday, July 3, 2015

Nadia Honary - Video

Nadia Honary

Name: Nadia Honary
City/State: Minneapolis/MNEmail: nadia.honary@gmail.comWebsite: and page: @nadia_as_it_is

Bio~ A graduate from the University of Iowa with three degrees in Cinema and Video Production, Spanish, and Studio Arts, I have been doing multimedia production work of varying degrees for nearly 10 years. I am passionate about sharing stories through video, having collaborated and produced videos and photos for several nonprofit organizations and local artists of various disciplines. I am also intrigued with experimental video work as a form of storytelling and have found that my most honest intentions come out through this format. Currently I am working fulltime for the local public access television station St. Paul Neighborhood Network, teaching individuals in the community techniques in production and providing the tools to enable people to tell their own stories through video. It is through this work as well as the artists I get to work with every day that prove that art is a vehicle for social change.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects? My work is primarily in the documentary storytelling format, though I also do a lot of work with experimental videos. I have always been fascinated with telling stories through images which is how I ended up collaborating with several local artists in the Twin Cities communities doing various photo and video projects. 

Currently I am working on a documentary involving personal identity, the way society has this need to categorize and label each other, and why it can be confusing when you are half...something. I'm half Iranian so this project is through the eyes of an Iranian American and is focused on my family but my hope is for this to expand to other cultural communities. It's different because rather than telling the story of someone else's organization or focusing on another artist, I am focusing the lens on myself and my family. It's a very vulnerable place to be, but it's a story I have mulling over for a long time now. I can't keep it in. 

I am also working in collaboration with another local photographer, Ilya Natarius, on a film photography project featuring local artists in the Twin Cities about what inspires them, to be featured at the Gamut Gallery in late spring of 2016. 

How did you decide to become an artist? It took me a long time to call myself an "artist" and really feel like I could own that. Sometimes I still feel like a phony. But since I was very young, I always felt more inclined to be creative. It started out with a fascination with acting and theater. When I first picked up a camera as a teenager and started capturing my friends while they were performing, I knew I would never put the camera down. A couple years later, I learned how to edit images together through video, and that's when I became obsessed because I learned how to play with time, create stories, and capture life moving around me. I haven't stopped since. 

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? A documentary that is all about documentary filmmaking called Capturing Reality includes interviews with several brilliant filmmakers and is a film I draw a lot of inspiration from. New York City based producer and director Jennifer Fox says in the film "It is only when you can't walk away from a subject that you should make it." That quote really resonates with me as I go forward with my own projects. I'm doing this because I have to and it's terrifying but that's what makes it beautiful. 

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself? As an emerging artist, trying to find the balance between funding my projects while maintaining the creative energy it takes to complete a project is a challenge. My main concern is finding the proper platform to share my work with as many people as possible because I aim to create a dialogue. I like it when my videos or photos inspire people, or when it gets someone to think about things in a different way. 
This is why I am most excited about collaborating with other artists and seeing the art that emerges through community work. The freelance work I do happens through these collaborations, through always saying yes, even when there may not be much time. My day job at the public access tv station, St. Paul Neighborhood Network allows me to continue to improve on my technical skills while teaching others how to make videos which is inspiring and has created a network of opportunities as well. And again, I still sometimes struggle with the term "artist" and whether or not I can own that identity, which is why I have a hard time marketing myself. I'll get there someday. For now, I'm enjoying my job and the people in my life who continue to push me to create. 

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
There are so many! One thing I love about living here is I could talk all day about the various artists who work in several different disciplines that inspire me deeply.Two ceramists that I respect are Meg Brown and Kordula Coleman, especially since it's a medium that is so far out of reach to me. Meg's work is simple and clean, yet each piece explores movement even though it's frozen in time. How anyone can create this through clay is beyond me but Meg does it and it's amazing. Kordula's sculptures study the human form and I love how each piece seems to say something different. I look at her work and a story emerges. 

The work of the physical theater performance company Live Action Set is a constant source of inspiration as they explore ensemble-driven work and immersive performances. Noah Bremer and Joanna Harmon are currently the driving forces behind this amazing company and I am lucky to have had the chance to work with them on their latest projects, Crime and Punishment and The Half-Life. 

Spoken word poet, performer and writer, Andre Jenkins does amazing work empowering the black and transgender community and is currently a featured artist at Intermedia Arts. Guante is another spoken word and hip hop artist whose work is focused on social justice and deconstructing traditional notions of masculinity.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see? Intermedia ArtsThe Soap Factory, Northrup King Building at the Infinitree Media Productions studio, Mixed Blood TheaterThe Phoenix Theater, and the MIA to name a few. We would see an array of theater performances. We will experience different art installations that make use of the space as part of the work. We would see my friends' production studio and goof around, recording musicians and playing with light. We would hang out at the MIA because sometimes you just need to be in a beautiful art gallery and spend some time with a painting. 

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 
I go to, and I also do a lot of volunteering (most frequently for the Soap Factory, MSPIFF, and Mixed Blood Theater) which always leads me to more fun art and theater destinations. 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
My experimental short video will be screening at the Southern Theater on July 24th (2015) for the AE Art House Film Festival and I will also be on the panel discussion as one of the Featured Artists that afternoon at the same location. 

No comments: