A new series of photographic works by Shirana Shahbazi.
Taken during the artist's three-month stay in India, the photos, often of solitary people in architectonic space or a landscape, have been taken apart and reshaped through a digital collage technique, their color removed or reconfigured. Carefully selected areas of luminous color are layered on top of one another, sometimes protruding far beyond the edges of the actual scene, flowing together with selected openings, or breaking open the composition like a prism. The effect is to dissolve motifs from the journey, fragmenting them from their original narratives. Similar to previous series by Shahbazi such as “Tehran North
” (2015), these works explore how the encounters experienced during travel can be perceived photographically without being determined by the visual power and cultural charge of their original colors.
Born 1974 in Tehran, Shirana Shahbazi moved to Germany when she was a child. Today she is based in Zurich. Trained as a photographer
, Shahbazi shoots images – including portraits, still lifes and landscapes – and often uses them as source material not only for photographs but also for paintings, billboards or handmade carpets. By altering the scale and transposing the imagery into a new medium or a style associated with another culture, she subverts viewers' expectations and explores the complexity of identity.
Shirana Shahbazi's oeuvre reflects an ongoing interest in the relationship between images, their surfaces and their objecthood, as well as between the various artistic media and their apparent iconic qualities. Her pictures range from color-field abstractions to volatile holiday snapshots. The artist has assembled a population of images, which handles an equal weight as a dispersed as well as a coherent body of work. This showcases an impressive transitional quality, a mastery which Shirana Shahbazi hasn't yet grown tired to pursue. From heavy frames to delicate litho-prints, her projects talk in fragments about the artist's genuine engagement with issues of representation as well as the presentation of images themselves.
For her works she has received prestigious prizes, such as the Citigroup Private Bank Photography Prize (2002). She took part in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and has had exhibitions in notable museums e.g.: Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012/2013), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2011), New Museum, New York (2011), The Hammer Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles (2008), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2008), Barbican Art Gallery, London (2007), Centre d'Art Contemporain, Genf (2005), Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2003).
Shirana Shahbazi is a member of the artists collective Shahrzad