The photographs of Shirana Shahbazi
and the texts of the novelist Judith Kuckart are here combined to create a dialogue about wonder, displacement, and borders. It tells a story of boundaries allegorically - as the difference between not understanding and not-understanding-albeit-willing-to-understand - visually as the notation of transience - the constant displacement as a state-of-being - and as a book itself as the space in-between words and images.
Born in 1959 in Schwelm, Westphalia, novelist Judith Kuckart studied literature and drama in Cologne and Berlin. After her graduation she trained as a dancer and in 1986 founded the dance theatre Skoronel in Berlin. She now lives as theater director and author in Berlin and Zurich.
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