Marissa Soroudi is a Persian/American contemporary artist who lives and works in New York City.
Her work reflects the convergence of her interests in female subjectivity, primal energy and the human connection to nature, our deeper selves, and each other.
Soroudi’s process in creating a series of works consisted of an immersive engagement and interaction with different societies, a conscious exercise designed to deconstruct her own personal and cultural history.
She attempts to lessen the gap between her ego and the collective consciousness. Soroudi believes that testing her own boundaries and having a close connection with herself are both integral to her process.
The resultant work is a collection of experiences and experiments that take the shape of photographs, paintings, sculptures and videos that aim to express her understanding of the ‘other’, and through this a better understanding of humanity and of herself.
The thread connecting my oeuvre is the primordial – the elements of the universe that existed at or from the beginning of time. This primordial energy is all around us and inside of everything that is alive. My art articulates and integrates the spiritual, sexual, mental and emotional into a unity of being. On this journey, my personal evolution is intertwined with my artistic trajectory.
In my most recent work I employ sculpture as my medium to establish the connection between the human spirit and natural materials such as sand, water and trees. I fill my studio with different plants and branches for inspiration. During the course of this immersion into nature’s materials I explore themes of women and beauty in contemporary life.
The shiny sculpted figures I created for the series “Why Beautiful Being Do You Shun Me?” asks if we are blinded by the beauty of our own reflection and unable to see our authentic selves. Why does a materialistic consumer society place so much emphasis on the external? Is it caused by a loss of faith in fundamental internal values? Through this piece I question the effect of the global obsession with plastic surgery on humanity by manufacturing a pristine and polished female form, free from imperfection. Yet, there is something primordial coded into the work: the part of the body rooting us to the earth growing out of a tree stump while a hot pink metallic vagina bursts through a cavernous crack in the bark. The connection women have to their primal sexuality is essential in my creations.
A desire for personal immersion into a purifying environment inspired me to create my series Salt + Space. In these videos I walk through a salt dessert where the ground literally reflects the sky, enveloping the intruder into a white landscape. My epiphany during this performance emerges from how the ground reflects the dynamics of opposites in my mind; the surface is at times calm and other times chaotic. I am able to contemplate my mind through the landscape and surrender to the feeling of becoming one with the environment; realizing that we are all one creation.
My desire to more deeply communicate the dissolution of boundaries between living beings and the environment inspired my most recent series of glass figures. I was awarded a studio and funding for a year and half which I used to research and develop an innovative process to blow glass into the female form.
Glass was my new material of choice because it shows impermanence; as a transparent material made of sand, glass is timeless yet capable of containing spirit. As a result, my glass figures combine timeless physicality and spirituality in form. I took them to the beach and photographed their interaction with the sand, water, and ocean waves. This extended my epiphany: the ocean consists of diverse components such as algae, seaweed and waves, but is all one expression, one creation.
I believe that people are like the tides–in constant flow and evolution. There is always a gap between the person I am at this moment and whom I was ten minutes or ten years ago. When I contemplate flowing water in a stream or waves in oceans, I am reminded that humans are always shifting and changing.
The sun penetrates the earth, gives us life and energy. The light penetrating these female forms ebbs and flows like the sea in the cyclical motion of time. The interaction of the elements in these images of the human form reveals how humans are connected to the life force of the sun, earth and sea. Submitting to this force means entering the evolutionary current.
As I feel more confident about embodying these essential truths of the human connection to the universe, I am becoming bolder in my approach. I will continue to move in unexpected directions continually circling back to my spiritual and physical presence in harmony with nature.