Q&A with Neil Sanzgiri

Neil Sanzgiri is an artist and writer working to understand how systems of oppression are informed and reinforced by collective memory, spectacle, and trauma. (more…) 

Below is an image of his 2015 installation, The Production of Belief, at MIT and a little chat about what he’s up to in terms of work and research. Neil also promised Inside ACT an essay expanding on the thinking process around his latest installation, so stay tuned! If you haven’t subscribed to our Facebook page yet, click here.


How does the question of form factor into your practice in presentation, context or methodology?

I believe formal questions are always central to how a work is received. As artists working with concept and critique, and not necessarily fine art or form, I believe that questions that really probe us to consider every aspect of the work, and not just the main arguments we are interested in, can only benefit us in the long run. Much like writing, there exists a need to communicate a message yet leave something also open to interpretation by an audience, so finding a balance between what we are trying to say and how we say it can only be enhanced by an intense scrutiny of the decisions we make to present our work.

In one sentence, what’s your current research inquiry?

Mass communication & ideology. Collective memory, trauma, & propaganda . Historicity & authenticity

What are you reading?

Empire, by Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt 

Archive Fever by Jaques Derrida

Infancy and History by Giorgio Agamben

Extrastatecraft by Keller Easterling

Cultural Identity edited by Stuart Hall

Border Crossing by Henry Giroux

Art Power by Boris Groys

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

& a bunch of other stuff 🙂