Noreen Jahan

Screen shot 2017-05-22 at 1.49.30 PMFinal Project Statement: 

Aim of Movement

As we see different people moving around us, we may observe their steps and relate them to ourselves: the way they take their steps and the shoes they wear represent their personalities, their different activities and different ages. This video represents how in Siena’s society local people spend their time in a sense of enjoyment, gathering together with each other and enjoying simple everyday moments like walking with their dogs, baby strollers, small children, and visitors. I focused on the ”Aim of Movement” in different scenes and in different places. There is a relationship between people (steps), space and time, focused on the movement of time in expected ways and unexpected ways as our life moves, but conveying in this video a sense of peace and nature that I found in Siena.

Final Reading Response “The Blue of Distance” by Rebecca Solnit:

This world is blue at its edges with depths. This blue is light that has disappeared, it is the distance of relationship to desires that start from the scientific phenomenon and grow into poetry. The light scatters in water, the water is pure and colorless but the blue sky affects the surfaces of oceans, the reflection of its color on the water becomes deeper and dreamier and lonelier, with a feeling of sadness of a distance that never ends. The blue light we can not reach or touch. It gets lost by giving the direction of the mysterious beauty of the world. The blue surface is an emotional distance, conveying a sense of purity but also a strong feeling of scattering, floating, and being alone. Many artists have drawn ”the blue of distance” through different mediums and different ideas in different time periods. For example Simone Weil wrote about the love and relationship between friends: She said to love this distance which is always being made by friendship. According to her love is the atmosphere that fills and colors the distance between herself and her friends, and to welcome friends and see around them a mystery. We have our own depths that we hardly know ourself.

Mid-Term Project:

My project on cigarettes started from a small installation which was displayed in my studio. After that I started to document the cigarettes on the streets as I explored the city. I have related the cigarettes with people, and I wanted to have some movement in cigarettes to capture peoples’ moving activities. I burned a cigarette and kept it on my table and captured its smoke movement then my work turned into a video. The first video I filmed at the Porta S. Marco city gate, outside the Chianti Banca ATM, and some other unknown streets. For my mid-term project, I made different videos at other different places including Piazza Del Campo. I composed a video in different scenes with original sound.  My purpose was to display different places, relating the burning cigarette to people with different time, weather, buildings, vehicles, the air-flow and the other elements of the specific locations, emphasizing how people have a relationship between different places and objects, and they move around such places. We interact consciously and unconsciously with such environments and surroundings where we have been living, so I tried to position the cigarette in relation to our living environment.  I personally challenged myself to get the result which I was expecting to have and achieved something new beyond my expectation.

During this art project, I found two dimensions as an experience for myself as a project created in public space that is designed to evoke peoples’ responses: it was some kind of art performance in public and another way designed to capture the whole scenario with the intent of composing the cigarettes as related to human figures. I observed peoples’ expressions, as my filming seemed to raise questions in their mind, and a few people verbally shared their thoughts, expressing surprise to see the cigarette. When I saw the burning cigarette, I felt like it calls to mind some past movement we have previously experienced.

My purpose to work on cigarettes was to focus on the small things that we don’t observe, we ignore like our small acts or mistakes or small details we miss in our lives or to which we may give less importance. Every small drop of rain become a river, some letters become a word, then words become a sentence. Same here: every small mistake becomes a big problem and missing small details leaves us hollow.
Reading response for Jerry Saltz “What Art Is and What Artists Do:”

In this article the author has been focused on the concept of art and art practices. Art is not mere decoration as people often think, it’s as important as religion, science and politics. Art is a thinking process, a way of exploring the whole universe and oneself. In fact, art is more than abstraction because when you see something in reality you may take that observation and then transform it into another form. Abstraction comes from real world, but makes you think about new things. Art has its origins in the beginning of human existence on Earth (for example cave art). It can be a challenge to create an artwork in response to a specific time and space. But to create an artwork, you must have knowledge, observation and confidence. For example, if an artist draws a line for five or ten years creating that line, he/she has five or ten years experience that he/she has conveyed onto a surface with the help of some colors or a pencil. In this way, Reality and Fact have been used to draw in a non-representational way.

Reading response for “Shape of a Walk” by Rebecca Solnit:

A walk that the author has described in this article “The shape of a walk” is an act of resistance. Walking is a physical movement, someone not only moving their body from one place to another place but also with a feeling of changing mind and soul. From the first step to the last step is a time period of discovery, something that many artists unintentionally practice, mostly aware of their first step and last step but between that time period get new, unexpected experiences and perception and mediums. When a person goes out for a walk or goes to another place, they must feel something and experience the movements of a walk of that environment and situation, but they don’t need  have visuals to transform as an art.  Artists have many perceptions that what they are feeling or perceiving from a new environment, transformed into an artwork and reshaping the world by their imaginations. The author has described one performances of an artist, Richard Long, a straight walk from the bottom to the top of Silbury Hill. It’s a simple way to take your steps but every step you get or feel something new and the artist transformed that experience through the languages of abstraction and measurement. In some way the artist gives some tension to the viewers to think something or relate their experiences to the artist’s experience, his work resembles writing rather than telling us how he felt. The act of walking can be a simple act but having many things to see, to feel and to think about something new . When you start a walk you may not perceive anything, or your movement may stop your lack of attention. When you are aware of your simple movement you can be aware of your walk and surrounding space.

Reading response for “Unstable Territories” excerpts:

The people shift their their soul and body to another space for many reasons willing or unwilling. Many people have made the difficult decision to leave their homeland and shifted to another country to better their future. Some who once migrated never return to their country but others planned to be away from their home country only for short time like for education and business. Some very quickly learn another language and culture, but others never are able to. It’s difficult for a visitor and host to understand to each other, their different cultures and also their religious traditions, but its also interesting to learn each other culture and respect one another’s practices. Boundaries are the sense of identity and responsibility. When some step out, the boundary or border that makes their identity can be strengthened. But now international conflicts also have forced people to change their countries. This certainly has an impact on art, such as how after World War I and World War II artists gradually changed their styles, ideas, subjects and color pallet because the era they were living through changed their thoughts, mind and soul, and also changed their visuals. Artists painted what they felt, and they transformed their expressions through paint and other mediums that changed the art movement. In the Renaissance time period, artists used to paint realistic images of life and also religious contexts which were real and true. But now art is changing the direction like architectural to sculptural and landscaping, and sculptural to architectural. These concepts also take place according to the space and material and limitation of time.

Intro Unit Project: Tempo Zulu (Coordinated Universal Time) 

For my Tempo Zulu project I have documented a series of burning cigarettes. My working title is ”Cigarette’s Speech”. My chosen space is outside the Chianti Banca ATM in Siena’s Piazza di Postierla but for this purpose I made many videos in different public places to capture the response of people when they see the small action of a burning cigarette. Their own small act is talking and questioning them. I focus on the cigarette and the movement of the smoke, in the background is the real sound of that place with the movement of people. The cigarette is trying to interact with people very quietly, politely and smoothly. The smoke is like a soul in a small body which gradually disappears when it has completed its mission. I tried to make an artwork which speaks about a social issue: how we always ignore the small mistakes or acts in our lives or in our surroundings. But it gradually becomes a big issue.


Intro Unit Project: “Points of Entry”:

Response to the Porta San Marco:  Interstitial Space

In-between space we have a real space and imaginary space. In a scientific world, the interstitial space physically exists, like the narrow space between organs, tissues and cells, in compounds and atoms etc. The space in-between art and architectural structures, in-between our imaginations, and the visuals that I always find in my surroundings. My artworks come from my imaginary world which is inspired by my real world. Sculpture is the central point of my art and all the categories of arts circle around it. I work on site-specific and installations inspired by nature and architectural structure. For my  Porta San Marco gate project I have focused on the real/natural space and imaginary/artificial space and relationships between nature and humans. For my project I have displayed discarded cigarettes to represent the people and their behaviors. Unavoidable free resources are provided by nature to humans but in return we humans have destroyed nature by our behaviors, activities and unawareness of the natural environment. The used group of ”Cigarettes” recalls memories that everyone from audience can relate to themselves. For my project I have collected 96 cigarettes from the Porta San Marco gate moved to another place around 4 minutes walk along the side of the road and I have created an installation in my studio.


11Noreen Jahan, Pakistan

Bio statement:

Noreen Jahan is a multi-media artist, with a concentration in sculpture.  She is currently studying at the National College of Art in Lahore.  Her hometown is in the mountainous Skardu district in northern Pakistan.

Previous artwork by Noreen Jahan: