Nasim Pirhadi's work actively confronts and explores the social instability and how it relates to the ways Iranian women fight for their rights. One response of this confrontation is through a recreation of a zoorkhaneh within a gallery space. A zoorkhaneh is a traditional gym that only men are allowed to enter and participate in, and whose name translates to House of Strength. There is an old belief that women are not purified enough to enter these sacred places, and that the inherent corruption of womanhood makes them undeserving of titles like ‘hero’ or ‘champion’. By recreating a zoorkhaneh in a gallery space, I control and arrange, populated with the reimagined tools that define a new sort of zoorkhaneh. In creating a zoorkhaneh in the gallery space, I challenged the exclusionary practices in zoorkhanehs by creating alternative space where people regardless of their gender can gather and engage in activities that are traditionally associated with these places. This project involves installation, video and photo performances that invite people who enter this environment to explore the cultural significance of these space, work out with the wooden tools and challenge patriarchal norms and values. By the space of zoorkhaneh, I want to challenge dominant narratives and create a more diverse and inclusive cultural landscape.
Through my artistic practice, I delve into the natural world and our connection to it. The unbridled desire of humans to succeed and advance has disrupted the essential tenet of coexistence between the realms of humanity and the natural world, causing an imbalance that has led to ecological catastrophes and environmental calamities. Using Indo-Persian miniature painting methods that originated in the 16th century as a starting point, my artistic practice involves re-envisioning these techniques with modern imagery and cross-cultural concerns to subvert conventional expectations. My work repurposes accounts of calamities and past events into significant and relatable visuals, blending the cultures of both the East and the West. I explore ideas expressed by Jalaluddin Rumi and Jeanette Armstrong in their poetry that advocate the importance of balance and equality of all living forms as a way to move forward towards a more harmonious and sustainable future. By combining Eastern traditional painting techniques of using handmade materials such as wasli (paper), qalam (brush), and
paints made from North American indigenous knowledge of natural pigments (Beam paints), with contemporary environmental concerns, the artwork conveys a multifaceted and intricate significance.