Abbas Zahedi | abbzah

Standard prelude: over the last ten years, my practice has evolved towards a framework of neo-diaspora; in an effort to process and de-historicise my experience of migration, death and displacement. In its current form, I use this term alongside installations, performances and images, to highlight a sense of estrangement amidst hyper-connectivity. This method has developed a particular poignancy in light of recent social and informatic shifts. Thus my phrasing of neo-diaspora follows on from this; expressing that I can no longer relate to the notion of diaspora in the traditional sense - as a movement referring to margins and metropoles. But instead, my relation to it has become a paradox of survival, within a complex and transitional state, of belonging to multiple imaginal spaces.

My earlier practice of stone-carving, geometric drawing and calligraphy emerged out of a desire to learn the cultural syntax of my Iranian heritage. It then became a process of crafting shapes, which I could photograph and use to explore the poetics of my own writing and performance. In experiencing this transition - towards an order of forms - I realised that my draw to tradition was the result of a very present preoccupation with identity and maternal DNA. This rendered my curiosity towards establishing embodied processes, which could inhabit latent potential and bypass my scientific training. This shift caused crucial learning to occur, enabling me to access contemporary ideas around art, philosophy and poetics; and forming the basis of my neuro-diverse approach to research. It was following this stage that I realised many neo-diasporic psyches do not inherit the Kantian leap - a pre-requisite to modern practice. So I had to endure the trauma of the abyss, plus subsequent negotiations with ancestral trajectories.

A good deal of my current work seeks to expand my understanding of world beyond analytical frames, via imaginal re-programmings of Islamic and Avestan cosmologies. Opening up space for a discourse of intuition, on dissolution and performative subjectivity. My desire to go beyond the image, moves me to render language as a solvent of significance. The resulting pursuit explores the limits of hyper-fluid consciousness, as the critical juncture where one diasporic phase morphs into another - such that Geo becomes Neo, whilst Ana falls into Ata. This paves the way to orientate myself, without the need for a sense of self. Whilst still allowing the discovery of meta-signifiers, that are fully immersed, intimate and free to move in multiple simultaneous directions.