Nadia Ahmed is a slow-reader, movie snob, and insomniac. She is also a performance artist, sculptor, and arts organizer currently based in Seattle, WA. She moved to Seattle from Los Angeles in 2014, where she earned a BA in Art History and a BA in Three-Dimensional Forum from the University of Washington. She has worked in multiple arts-based organizations, including the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Center on Contemporary Art, and Elsewhere Museum. Interested in showing vulnerability as strength and exploring her perpetual discomfort through her work, Nadia has performed in spaces such as Studio Current and shown work with Out of Sight. She is currently working as a Program Facilitator at the Seattle Children’s Museum, running DIY arts organization Groupchat, and continuing to produce work in her garage turned studio space. She can also out-karaoke anyone with Kelly Clarkson’s Since You Been Gone.
My work revolves around sculpture, performance, and installation. I am always in a state of perpetual discomfort and my work carries this with it. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable and to have harder conversations in order to enact change. The importance of sentimentality and honesty is also a large part of my work. It carries aspects of disassociation, isolation, vulnerability and intimacy. My work stems from somewhere very personal. I like to impart a sense of a handmade quality to the work, creating a more intimate element physically by carrying with it my touch. I am not medium based, so I do a lot of experimentation with materials, over-emphasizing certain qualities that interest me. I tend to work with materials that are volatile, things that can transform and change over time, because for me this quality best represents the human condition.
I explore the way the body can interact with materials and how materials and bodies exist and change within a space. Through performance and what I call ‘performative objects,’ I embrace time as a medium. My pieces often deal with an irreversible process; once something is changed, it cannot go back to the way it was. I am interested in the human relationship to time, such as memory and the fleeting aspect of a moment in life. I am drawn to performance because it is so ephemeral; it only exists within that moment. My performance work carries elements of duration and endurance. It creates a different experience between audience and artist by forcing the audience and myself to be in and share a period of time together. I put myself in vulnerable situations in order to work through feelings and experiences that I am not able to put into words, often times placing the audience and myself in an uncomfortable position physically or mentally. By incorporating performance, it increases the sense of intimacy and rawness of the work. It also makes me feel extremely vulnerable, which is important because I struggle with this outside of my art. Something valuable that I get from my own work is that it allows me to be so exposed and intimate, connecting me to people in such a different way than I normally would.