Razia Barsatie

SR, 1982
  • resident
    • 2020 – 2022

Artist statement

Razia Barsatie (b. 1982, SR) wants to drastically break with the taboo around discussing certain topics. Her quest for liberation from both the suppression of emotions and the culturally determined power structures that dominate daily life is central to her work. Her artistic practice focuses on opening up certain topics fordiscussion, placing them in a more open context, with the aim of challenging certain mindsets that prevail in public space. Against this background, Barsatie is confronting the cultural traditions her ancestors brought from India to Suriname more than 150 years ago and which have been preserved there as if time has stood still. Being a female artist, she places great value on artistic and cultural intelligence as a counterbalance to the almost immobile and limiting morality of everyday life.

Barsatie deftly explores the scents of herbs from her Surinamese background. Either literally or symbolically, combined with video animation and/or drawing on ecological materials, these scents are at the basis of her art, evoking memories from her past.

Her material research for carriers that can serve to ‘tell‘ stories with herbs and scents, recently led to her discovery that tapioca starch behaves like an environmentally friendly resin that enables it to achieve similar results as traditional resin. The transparent, flat ‘paper-like’ sheets she creates out of tapioca enable her to symbolically translate the interaction between the unconscious and the conscious in combination with her drawings. Through her scent art, Barsatie is on a mission to remove the taboos and shame linked to sexuality and gender through the dialogue between viewer and artwork, thereby contributing to a healthier future mentalities.

Barsatie is a Rietveld Academie graduate (2012). She was artist in residency at CARMA in French Guiana (2019), Thami Mnyele Foundation Award in Amsterdam (2017), Caribbean Linked III Atelier '89 in Aruba (2015), Art in Residence in Moengo in Suriname (2014). Her works were on exhibit at “De Grote Suriname Tentoonstelling” (the Great Suriname Exhibition) in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam (2019), the Moengo Festival of Visual Art -Tembe Fu Libi II in Moengo (2018), Zuiver in Nieuw Dakota in Amsterdam (2016) and at her solo Anxious at Nola Hatterman Art Institute in Paramaribo (2013).

Workshop Unexpected memories through smells…, Ateliers '89, Oranjestad, Aruba, September 2022

The workshop is about unexpected memories created by food. During the course of the workshop Razia Barsatie prepares a Surinamese dish every Monday. While eating the meal, the participants draw, paint and create their unexpected memories that pup up with the ingredients of the food. These drawings, paintings, sculptures and animations – the result of the weekly assignments Razia gives the participants – will in the end form an archive from our food culture. The final week all works are exhibited to the local community of Aruba.

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