Sonia Balassanian – VIDEOGRAPHY

I have been a practicing artist for many years, beginning as an abstract painter and poet with the “Nor Ej” Armenian literary group in Iran. In mid-career I became engaged with photography and sculptural installation, in Philadelphia and New York. Since 1995 my artistic preoccupations evolved into the medium of video. As I acquired new techniques, I found that the expressive capabilities of my new medium permitted the expansion of my thematic explorations and artistic vocabulary to new levels. The video art that I have gradually been producing represents an important departure from my earlier work: the new form has enabled me to present certain dominant themes in a more complex and open-ended manner. This shift is visible even in the progression of the videos: the first works are essentially abstract, while the later works acquire a narrative dimension.
My work explores and links my multi-faceted identity with the physical and perceptual world surrounding me and relates intimate images to broader social and cultural issues including gender identity and relations, the aftermath of war, and the role of the individual, especially the individual artist, in today’s society. The simultaneous development of several ideas made possible by the video art format mirrors the rapidly shifting and essentially unresolved nature of those issues. My language operates at a certain level of symbolic abstraction in order to evoke universal human experiences from specific situations.