Galvanoscope 2 (Film A and Film B), 2018 [excerpt]
dual projector installation with two 16mm films (3 min. loop), wood, scrim
sculpture dimensions: 24 x 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches (61 x 82.6 x 82.6 cm); overall installation dimensions variable
edition of 2 + 1 AP

Driven by a desire to break away from the conventional cinematic screen, Raissnia’s looped 16mm films are projected through a semi-transparent, hanging mobile to create an architectural installation that both articulates the light as it moves through space and diffuses it through layers of screen and shadow. This cubic, lamp-like object intercepts the film projectors’ light beams and resembles a hybrid sculptural object, at once still and kinetic. The interplay of motion and stillness holds a central role in this seminal work.

In the 16mm films, Raissnia superimposes various footage from her personal archive with imagery sourced from a box of 35mm slides labeled “Sultanate Architecture” that she found in the visual resource archive discarded by Brooklyn College, which depict the ruins of a 14th–century mosque in India. By cropping, splicing, hand-painting, layering and distorting them, her work opens up and complicates the possible denotations of the original photographs.


Mine Brook, 2011
composite 35mm slide projection with 16mm film (31:35 min.), sound by Food Pyramid

This painterly expanded cinema performance took place in tandem with the exhibition A Place To Which We Can Come, at Saint Cecilia’s Convent in Brooklyn, NY in the spring of 2011, curated by Serra Sabuncuoglu. Composed using two 35mm slide projectors, one super 8 film projector, and one 16mm film projector, this intricate, multimedia film work involves layers of still and moving imagery that push against the boundaries of abstraction and figuration. Sabuncuoglu notes, “As an artist who probes the practices of painting, drawing, and filmmaking, Raissnia articulates something along the lines of a synesthesic energy-system, underscored here by the avant-garde electronics of Minneapolis ensemble Food Pyramid.”


Mneme II, 2016 [excerpt]
34 individual hand painted 16mm looped film strips for two projectors, 12 hand painted collaged 35mm slides for one projector, double painted screen, 20 minutes
Music by Panagiotis Mavridis performing on his homemade pipe and stringed instruments.

“In Greek mythology Mneme is one of the three muses. She is memory personified. Her two sisters are Aoide, muse of song and music, and Melete, muse of study. When I finished making this work and showed it to Panagiotis, he said it made him think of the way our memory works. The work is made out of pre-existing materials that I cut, painted, and collaged together, making something entirely new. So, after reflecting a bit, I agreed with him that, yes, this is in fact analogous to the way our memory functions; Mneme puts together bits and pieces from the past and forms new meaning in the present.” – Raha Raissnia


Nadir 2, 2016
hand painted 16mm film for one projector, 76 individual hand painted collaged 35mm slides for two projectors, hand painted double screens, 20 minutes
music by Panagiotis Mavridis performing with his pipe and stringed instruments

“The 35 mm slides in this work are made with photographic images I took in studio that I layered and painted by hand. The hand painted imagery in the 16mm film is of various segments of my paintings made on canvas and various light sources set up in my studio. The projection screen is uniquely designed and built by me using two hand painted screens that are overlaid. The outer screen is of sheer material from which light both penetrates and reflects from. The back screen has a specific texture that has been painted with black oil on canvas. This double screen creates an optical effect. The basic structural elements: light, camera, film and screen were manipulated in making the work and will be further manipulated in the live performance of it. I made this work through minimal means in a visceral fashion. It’s not about anything specific but of moments in between.” – Raha Raissnia


Longing, 2015 [excerpt]
16 mm film, color, 20-minute loop, optical sound
dimensions variable, edition of 5 + 1AP

“In 2014-15 I created several individual film works that for their starting point drew from much raw footage I took in a series of visits to a very poor neighborhood in New York’s East Harlem. What has been of great importance to me about East Harlem that I have tried to express and capture in my films is not the appalling poverty that is the most visible and known reality there but the integrity of the people I encountered there. I have tried to insist on expressing their heroism. What moved me the most in that area was how despite deprivation and poverty the people there were animated, full of life, longing and living with great sense of humor, stripped of any pretension. In their organic way of being, some showed a serenity and strength I found to be valiant and noble. “Longing” is an ode to the people of East Harlem. The hidden camera and my inability to frame what I was capturing caused sweeping and erratic movements that resulted in abstractions throughout the film. Therefore these effects are not there in order to create any aesthetic quality or else evade figuration but are just part of the motion of real life captured on film through my bodily movements.” – Raha Raissnia


Litany: A performance for homemade instruments and film loops, 2014
Raha Raissnia: 16 mm film loops
all instruments made by Panagiotis Mavridis, played by him and Dalius Naujos

“As a kid I loved spinning around a thing or a person as fast and as many times as I could and drop to the floor and watch with amazement the sky come down and the earth go up and around. It’s been known when one is given to listen to a set of repeating beats after a short while one starts to hear unexpected rhythms and patterns the mind makes up on its own. When we rethink a phrase and re-collect an image the same thing happens. For this performance you won’t hear and see what we will present to you, but something else.” – Raha Raissnia


Slide and film projection performance with the Search & Enjoy choir conducted by Dalius Naujo
Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, Wednesday May 30, 2012

This expansive performance took place at Miguel Abreu Gallery in the spring of 2012. The project was conceived by musician Dalius Naujo and featured 40 singers alongside a time-based multimedia work performed by Raissnia, comprised of a large oil painting, two 16mm films, and two carousels of manipulated 35mm slides.


Free Way (Part 1), 2005-08
Composite 35mm slide projection with 16mm film 15 minute loop Sound by Charles Curtis, 3 analog looped cassette tapes

In this collaborative performance, Raissnia utilized two 35mm slide projectors and a 16mm projector to layer and transpose collaged and hand-painted film. The performance also featured a sound piece by Charles Curtis utilizing looping cassette tapes to explore the fundamental nature of sound as a single fractional value denoting relative rates of vibration. “For Raha Raissnia’s slide projection,” Curtis writes, “I arranged a set of intervals as a ladder, or matched chain, of identical 28/27 intervals… This notion was inspired by the organic – seemingly self-generating – process that Raha’s drawings seem to follow. The labyrinthine – both lineal and perspectivally – confounding – shifts to which the eye is subjected while studying her surfaces; I find mirrored in the perceptive – acoustical – shifts registered through the serially expanded 28/27 interval.”