“The Pairing” is a choreographed performance that questions skin and fabric as a shield that separate bodies and ideologies; Skin and fabric that hold desire. The Pairing tells a story that touches upon motherhood, desire, love, envy and conflict. The Pairing’s audio is inspired by Islamic call for prayer sung by a woman.
Soheila Azadi creates artworks that mirror those challenges she faces as a woman from an Islamic country. With a goal to become actively involved in the local as well as the global art community, Azadi’s work focuses on the intersection of gender and politics, particularly on the tension between religious tradition and modernity. Utilizing moving image, photography, and performance, she has found a fruitful collaboration with Owens, who also treats these media as most efficient in her current pursuits.
Hanna M. Owens is concerned with the point at which the political and the social collide with the intimate, siting the body as the intersection where we find evidence of emotion. She is an interdisciplinary artist most interested in what happens in the 6-8 cubic inches of air that hover immediately outside of our skin. Her efforts remain under that same umbrella: language, the body, and intimacy.
Currently working together in the MFA Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago–Azadi, a first year student in Moving Image and Owens a second year in Studio Arts–the two began collaborating in 2013 on performances pursuing questions of gender, sexuality, and desire. The two utilize garments and dance to create engaging performance that evokes an emotionality in the gray between self-sexualization and self-denial.