Site, Sight, and Insight

Sanaz Mazinani, Rainbow Ground (CMY) , 20 x 30.5 cm pigment print, 2012

Sanaz Mazinani, Landscape #27 , 23 x 35.5 cm pigment print, 2011

Site, Sight, and Insight , installation view at Gallery 44

Site, Sight, and Insight , installation view at Gallery 44

Site, Sight, and Insight , installation view at Gallery 44

Site, Sight, and Insight

Friday, March 8, 2013 to Saturday, April 13, 2013
Opening Reception:
March 8,
6:00PM to 9:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

Seemingly objective, capable of straightforward picturing, photographs are presumed to be self-evident in the meaning they convey. Described in semiological terms as having an indexical (one-to-one) relationship to the things they represent, photographs are always bearers of a (photographic) truth, but they are also inherently deceptive entities due to what they leave out and the built-in biases of each photographer.

To fight against this, Toronto and San Francisco-based artist Sanaz Mazinani finds ingenious ways to articulate the act of looking at photographs. Choreographing viewer engagement with the image, she builds into each encounter a process of critical reassessment. Site, Sight, and Insight presents a series of lessons on how the visual language of photography functions as a process, one that is ideologically informed and susceptible to undoing. In works that are seductive, revelatory and politically-informed, Mazinani presents differing approaches to the task of foregrounding an understanding of photography as a cultural construct.  

Politics of Sight: A Conversation on the Limitations of the Photographic Image


Artist Biography: 

Sanaz Mazinani is a visual artist, curator, and educator based in Toronto and San Francisco. She holds her undergraduate degree from Ontario College of Art & Design University and her MFA from Stanford University. Mazinani’s work explores the relationship between perception and representation. Working primarily in photography and large-scale installations, her practice intersects conceptual and formal boundaries of the photographic image in response to site, sight, and insight, especially in relation to digital culture.

Her work has been exhibited in galleries such as Art & Architecture Library at Stanford University; Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; University of Toronto Art Centre; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Mazinani’s artwork has been written about in Border Crossings, Nueva Luz, NOW Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Dide. Most recently, Mazinani was named a 2012/2013 Fellow at the Kala Art Institute, short listed for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, and was awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission Art on Market Street for 2013/2014.


Rosemary Heather writes about art, the moving image and digital culture for numerous publications, artist monographs and related projects internationally, including Canadian Art, Toronto; Border Crossings, Winnipeg; Art Papers, Atlanta; Flash Art, Milan; Experimental Conversations at,Cork; CACTU, Toronto; Hunter and Cook, Toronto; APEngine at, London, UK; Von Hundert, Berlin; Daddy, Los Angeles; Neue Review, Berlin; The Senses and Society, Oxford; Art News, New York; BE, Berlin; and tema celeste, Milan. Her ongoing project The Real and How to Find It interviews artists about the subject of The Real. Recent interviewees include Ken Lum, Kerry Tribe, Hito Steyerl, Phil Collins and Candice Breitz.

She is a co-author of the collectively written novel Philip, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 2006. Exhibitions she has curated include: Ron Giii: Hegel’s Salt Man, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto; Art Gallery of Carlton University, Ottawa, 2006-2007; Serial Killers: Elements of Painting Multiplied by Six Artists, Christopher Cutts, Toronto; Platform, London, UK; and I Beg to Differ, Milch, London, UK. From 2003-2009, Rosemary Heather was the editor of C Magazine, Toronto.