Maral Bolouri was born in Tehran, Iran. They are a multidisciplinary artist based in Paris, France.
As a gender non conforming person, their work previously reflected their experience as a marginalised subject in post-revolution Iran.
From 2009-2011 they lived in Malaysia to pursue a Master's program which guided their practice towards a research-based pursuit.
They moved to Kenya in 2012. Living in Nairobi introduced colonial and post-colonial realities to their practice with a focus on human rights and representation of women in African oral traditions.
Since 2018 they are based in Paris, France where they currently explore gender and identity and the influences of identity politics on one's practice in the art world and beyond.
Their works can be found in several collections including world bank Washington and Absa's permanent collection in South Africa. They are the overall winner of Absa L'atelier competition 2017.
"I do not understand my body, nor my political existence as part of the Spanish nation. "
(Paul B. Preciado)
I have never understood my political existence as an Iranian woman.
The current political climate in the art world tends to encourage artists of historically marginalized backgrounds into narrating and (re)producing themselves in terms of their identity, political status, gender, roots, and worthiness. Practicing art in such a climate requires an enormous amount of perseverance.
The message from the art world is You either assume your identity or your art is not valid, your experience is not valid!
These expectations of artists are the core inspiration for me to create and further develop my multidisciplinary practice. Just like Preciado, I consider myself a fugitive, a fugitive of my language and my presumed identity.