Curated by Octavio Zaya

Opening reception: October 30, 6 - 8PM
October 30 - December 20

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday,
10 - 6PM


511 West 25th Street #502
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 646 486-0252 Fax: 646 486-0241

Shirana Shahbazi at TRANS>area
















The First Solo Exhibition of Shirana Shahbazi in New York City in conjunction with Salon 94 and The Wrong Gallery.


Born in Tehran, raised in Stuttgart, and currently living in Zurich, Shirana Shahbazi's work proposes a distinctive vision of the complexity of representation of individual and national identity, cultural encounters and inter-zones, and, more broadly, contemporary life within the reality of widespread mass-migration and globalization.

TRANS>area, is presenting a collection of over forty photographs taken from 2000 to the present. The show includes a selection of early and widely shown photos shot in Iran, as well as a selection of two new series recently executed in Shanghai and across the US, which are being exhibited for the first time at TRANS>area, some of which will be available as a TRANS>edition. This exhibition is in conjunction with The Wrong Gallery, and Salon 94, all exhibitions in New York.


The exhibition consists of three installations of pictures specifically made for TRANS>area and curated by Octavio Zaya. Through the juxtapositions and fractures that her individual installations already convey, the TRANS>area arrangements will clearly emphasize the extent to which such polarities as myth and reality, fiction and simulation, tradition and modernity, East and West, all come together in her work to question and dilute cultural categorization and interpretations, while perpetuating a postponement or suspension of judgment that steadfastly refuses any reliance on fixed conventional or local notions of subject and location.


The presentation of these three series are not meant as a confrontation of three discordant views, but as an opportunity to interrogate precisely the place and role of the medium of photography in the cultural constructions that contribute to these kinds of classifications and clichÈs. In the assemblage of portraits, still life, landscapes, cityscapes, and other scenarios on view at TRANS>area, Shahbazi captures the foreign in the familiar, conflating the banality experienced in everyday life with the interpretations people make when identifying, connecting with, and engaging the strange and unfamiliar found in other places and cultures.

The three concurrent installations will engage the audience with the global requirement of coming to terms with issues of cross-culturalization manifest in her work while giving us a glimpse of the trajectory of the work's indigenous developments.


Ultimately, the exhibition at TRANS>area offers scenarios of speculation and structures to be removed, changed, and reinterpreted. Seen not as fixed representations but rather as spaces of encounters and conjunctions, this is not a systematic, whole, or conclusive project, but one full of complexities and accidents that remain unresolved, ambiguous, and undefined in their questioning.


This exhibition is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Special thank you to Bob von Orsouw Gallery, Zurich, Salon 94, New York and Kinetic Art Services.


About Shirana Shahbazi
Shirana Shahbazi was born in Tehran in 1974, and moved to Germany with her family in 1985. She now lives in Zurich, but spends part of each year in Tehran. She studied photography at the Fachhochschule Dortmund from 1995-1997 and continued her education at the Hochschule fur Gestaltung und Kunst, Zurich from 1997-2000.


Shirana’s recent solo exhibitions include Centre d’Art Contemporain, GenËve 2004; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago 2003; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin, 2003; and Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich, 2002.


Her work has been included in the recent group exhibitions: Far Near Distance (SHAHRZAD), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2004; Don’t Touch White Woman – Contemporary Art Between Diversity and Non Toccare la Donna Bianca, curated by Francesco Bonami, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino 2004; Delays and Revolutions, Biennial of Venice, Venice 2003; Outlook, Athens 2003; Nation, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Frankfurt a.M, 2003; and Eidgenˆssisches Stipendium f¸r freie Kunst, Basel, 2003.


Shirana Shahbazi, is represented by Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich and Salon 94, New York.

About Octavio Zaya, Curator

Octavio Zaya, critic and independent curator, was born in Las Palmas (Canary Islands), and has lived in New York since 1978. He is currently an Advisor for MUSAC (Leon) and is working on independent curatorial projects including: a retrospective of Shirin Neshat (with Rosa Martinez, MUSAC, Leon), a group show of Contemporary Iranian Artists (Koldo Michelena, San Sebastian and Kunsforeningen, Copenhague), an exhibition of emerging international artists (with Yuko Hasegawa and Augstin Perez Rubio, MUSAC) and another project with Fernando Renes (TRANS>area, New York).

Zaya was one of the curators of Documenta 11 (Kassel, 2002), as part of the group directed by Okwui Enwezor. He was also one of the curators of the first and second Johannesburg Biennials (1995 and 1997). His other exhibitions include Interzones (Copenhagen, 1996), In/Sight, African Photographers 1940 to the Present (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1997), The Garden of Forking Paths (Copenhagen, Stokholm, Helinski, 1998), and Interferencias (Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, 1998). In 1997 he was the curator for Latin America at ARCO and from 1998 to 2001 he was one of the curators for the international project rooms at ARCO.


During the last ten years Zaya has acted as Associate Editor for Atlantica magazine (CAAM, Las Palmas). He also belongs to the editorial board for the NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art (Cornell University), is an advisor for Lab 71 (electronic magazine) and is a correspondent for Flash Art.


About TRANS>
TRANS> is a non-profit based in New York. The gallery space, TRANS>area, gives artists their first solo exhibition in New York. The artists who have had their first solo exhibition in New York at TRANS>area include: Anri Sala, Artur Barrio, Marine Hugonnier, Mircea Cantor, Koo Jeong-a, Yang Fudong, Daniel Guzman, and Barbara Pollack and David Cabrera. Performances presented at TRANS>area include: Joan Jonas and Lovett and Codagnone.


The program at TRANS>area is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and Rosa and Carlos de La Cruz.


TRANS>editions produces limited artist’s editions, including photographs by Shirana Shahbazi.



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