Sharifzadeh’s filmmaking grew out of her sculptural practice, bringing constructed pieces to life with stop-motion animation, often displaying them within large scale physical installations built with sculptural work drawn from and inspired by the films, so the audience can be immersed and walk within and through the work. She likes for her audience to walk into her stories in real time.
Story of a Curse
In this new body of work, Sharifzadeh showcases the ephemera of an imagined film, a detective story entangled in quantum-level simulations, stacked up like a layer cake. The viewer is drawn into this entangled narrative—in the future and the present, via a psychotic break or a manipulation of a criminal mastermind — through video, storyboards, soundscapes, props, and faint whispers on an ancient telephone.
Story of a Curse, is inspired by my mother's story of moving through loss and despair. She was two weeks away from her due date that she realized there was something wrong with the baby in her womb. The doctor not realizing the umbilical cord has been wrapped around the baby's neck, resulted in the baby’s suffocation.
My mom was then forced to have a still birth. Birth, a symbol of bringing new life, had now changed to delivering death into the world of the living. After almost 9 months of waiting, all the dreams she had of becoming a mother had shattered. Preparing the baby's room, preparing herself for motherhood and the joy she has shared with family and friends around her. They were all gone inside a day. To sooth herself, she came to believe that she had been cursed and had to take the baby to the cemetery instead of home. My film deals with the dream of motherhood, the emotional bond created within 9 months, and seeking refuge in believing to be cursed as a means to move through trauma.
Reverberations of Blue was born out of the process of adapting Sharifzadeh’s sculptural practice into the language of stop-motion animation, while the objects created for the show return this conversation back to the sculptural realm. The series as a whole investigates the nature of melancholia and solitude, translating these intimate experiences of the individual body, memory and psyche to the broader socio-emotional realities in which they unfold. The objects and the film serve as memorials, moving across mediums to build a self-contained mythology from the pieces of Sharifzadeh’s own memories and loss. The fragmented narrative structure she creates opens up space for the audience to remember their own stories. Sharifzadeh has developed an organic suite of techniques, peeling away the traditional sculptural methods of building and casting, and working with everything from needlework learned from her grandmother to assemblages of found objects, wire mesh, wax and plaster. Her animations are painstakingly constructed through these same processes and materials, including a custom-built multi-planar animation stand incorporating multiple layers of glass. Through these methods, Sharifzadeh has found a resonance between the themes she is exploring and the works, allowing her stories to slip almost unconsciously into the materials through the obsessive actions of her hands creating.