Zoya Shokoohi

Attraversa il confine, 2021

Still from video

There is no doubt that the device screen is one of the most used platforms of any person in today’s world. Thinking about  “perennial topicality”  leads the artist to think about conversations. We are in a cosmopolitan world where the sense of things, distances, boundaries, relationships, and ways of communication have changed. Very often we think how tangible are the things we see through it, the people we know, the relationships we create, the cities we see through endless photos found on the web. Writing on the screen, she is highlighting a real limitation, sharing an explicit message both affirmative and imperative: “Cross the line.” The repetitive message becomes a marker of a real boundary. In this way, the screen which is the place in which we look for information, becomes itself the boundary, as a metaphor of every limit that we continually encounter in everyday life.

Video, color, 80′


In our view, talking about perennial topicality means talking about our perception of time, history, and human interactions. As we considered this project a collective debate, we’d like to hear more about your ideas as well. What is your perception of perennial topicality? And which element of this idea do you think that the artwork that you presented wants to portray?

I think that topicality is constantly connected to the passage of time, outside the temporal dimension we cannot refer to any topicality. Moreover, the temporal movement changes our perception in many points of view, it is like moving on the space-time axes and being aware of it…
I had hypothesized to put myself in front of the spectator in order to pose a question that is quite constant in today’s world; repeating the question to the point of transforming it into another form and also changing the spectator’s perception of this question. The question I wanted to emphasize is: “crossing borders”. Through this choice I would like to try to create a spatial axis between myself, the viewer in front of the screen and the world wide web. Through the repetition and duration of the action of writing the phrase “cross the border” I would like to add a temporal axis. In this way I am inviting my viewer to move through the space-time coordinates as an exercise in actuality and coherence.

We are all the sum of our experiences, which shape our personality and perception. How did your personal history affect the creation of your artworks and in what way did you bring it into your project? 

My works very often start from my story as an immigrant. Also in the work for this project the phrase “cross the border” comes from my way of being and living now and here; it obviously in the work exhibited takes on a broader meaning, that is, all the borders and limits that each of us encounters in life.

Due to the centrality of technology as well as the redefinition of our personal space, in these pandemic times the intimacy and the lack of it are now not only lived but conceived differently. How would you describe your perception of intimacy, relationships, and connection today?

I would imagine that even today despite technology, we all keep our intimacy aside. I would argue that the reference points for notions like intimacy, relationship and connection are changing.

What do you expect from the audience’s experience after viewing your work in this digital environment? How do you think that our endless consumption of digital contents is affecting the production and the fruition of artworks? Do you think the virtual exhibition experience will continue to be a possible tool for presenting your research?

My work is a video that lasts eighty minutes; I don’t expect the viewer to sit down and watch it in its entirety. However at any time he decides to stop the video, a limitation has occurred, which is precisely one of the many limitations I try to highlight in my work.
I firmly believe that virtual space has the great potential to be enjoyed according to its specific characteristics.
I am not of the opinion that one can digitize material works and exhibit them in virtuality; this path could work for didactic or historical purposes but not for the extremely artistic purpose that concerns physical works.


Zoya Shokoohi (born 1987, Isfahan, Iran) comes from a scientific and artistic background and she moved to Italy from Iran in 2015. In this shift, in addition to examining the relationship between Art and Science, which leads her to put in highlight the nature of the science, questions about her position within the urban context. For this reason, most of her work focuses on “necessary activities of contemporary man” and also the paradoxical aspects of contemporary life.