First Solo Exhibition of Shirana Shahbazi in New York City in
conjunction with Salon 94 and The Wrong Gallery.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
program at TRANS>area is sponsored by The Andy Warhol
Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., and Rosa and Carlos de La
produces limited artist’s editions, including photographs
by Shirana Shahbazi.