The Iranian performer, writer and filmmaker Mina Bozorgmehr has an interest in the physical movement of men and women in modern cities and the relationship they have with their daily spaces.
Mina Bozorgmehr was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1980 and currently lives and works there. She grew up in an artistic household, following her parents onto film sets and into costume workshops. Her childhood was marked by the repression of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during which her parents were imprisoned, and by the Iran–Iraq war of 1980-1988. Having completed her bachelor’s degree she settled in France, where she studied movement in theatre at the LEM (Laboratoire d’Etude du Mouvement) of the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris (2000-2002) before entering the Paris La Villette School of Architecture. In 2007 she returned to Tehran, where she put her new perspectives on space and movement into practice in analysing the city and its inhabitants.
In 2006 Mina met Hadi Kamali Moghadam, an actor and director whose focus is on the body and improvisation, and together they created the Noir Art Group. Their work is based on space and human and urban mobility, and they favour an interdisciplinary approach, making use of creative forms including theatre, cinema, video, urban performance and video performance. They have developed a new concept in Iran: that of urban performance where they play with the place, the inhabitants and the story (as much of the place as of the participants). They make use of old buildings in Tehran and Shiraz, before their destruction, transformation or renovation, to reflect on the history of the place and the relationship that the inhabitants have with it. Mina and Hadi like to break into the real and the everyday to provoke spontaneous situations. They invite us to see reality differently and to liberate the poety which slumbers in each of us, as well as in our urban spaces.
During their month-long residency at La Chartreuse de Neuville in 2018, the two artists continued their reflection on the place and its history. They worked on the themes of transformation and migration – both geographical and spiritual – emphasising that the surrounding region may have been a transitional land for migrants in the past as well as today. They reflected on the way in which people experience transformations, from both Eastern and Western perspectives. Meetings with local people and organisations were at the heart of their work, in particular through theatre workshops, performances, and photo and video exhibitions.
In 2020 they intend to return to La Chartreuse to work on a follow-up project based on migration and memory.
Part of this residency has been completed remotely, the remainder has been postponed.