Sanaz Sohrabi, Hiding in Plain Sight: Archives of Oil — Emmanuelle Choquette

[Summer 2022]

By Emmanuelle Choquette

Centre d’art et de diffusion Clark, Montréal
28.10.2021 — 27.11.2021

In her practice, Sanaz Sohrabi probes the political structure, the trajectory, and the circulation of the image. She addresses these issues through the prism of the archive as site of representation and as tool of construction of dominant narratives.

For the last five years, Sohrabi has pursued a research project through which she has set out to map a visual culture of oil. She is also exploring the complex avenues of the visual vocabulary linked to oil exploitation that underlies both colonial discourses and the identity construction of independent nations. Based on in-depth documentary research, she offers a subtle reading of these issues, which she stages in a way that highlights their paradoxes.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Archives of Oil is an installation that includes photographs, documents, and text elements drawn essentially from the archives of British Petroleum1 (BP) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries2 (OPEC). In a series of assemblages, Sohrabi constructs two timelines that intertwine and overlap, and she shows how the imperial heritage continues to influence the postcolonial imagination despite the desire to break up the visual regime…
Translated by Käthe Roth

[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 120 – FIGURES OF AFFIRMATION ]
[ Complete article and more images, in digital version, available here: Sanaz Sohrabi, Hiding in Plain Sight: Archives of Oil — Emmanuelle Choquette ]