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Indepth Arts News:

"The Garden: Shirana Shahbazi"
2003-02-06 until 2003-03-22
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios
Dublin, , IE Ireland

The 2003 programme at Temple Bar Gallery begins with The Garden, an exhibition of new work by Iranian artist Shirana Shahbazi.  Shahbazi is the 2002 winner of the Citigroup Photography Prize (in association with The Photographers' Gallery, London).  This exhibition constitutes the first showing in Ireland of her internationally acclaimed work.

While much of Shahbazi's work to date has focused on the people and places of her native Iran, more recently she has taken her current home of Switzerland as her subject.  A consistent aspect of her work, nevertheless, is a concentration on varieties of everyday existence.  In her photographic installations a range of seemingly unconnected images are combined in such a way as to frustrate attempts to define these everyday scenes in relation to specific national or cultural narratives.  These assemblages of disparate images reflect her desire to challenge the seeming representational authority of the single framed photograph.  However, Shahbazi also sets out to disrupt the illusion of documentary authenticity by including alternative versions of certain images.  Alongside the assemblages of differently-sized photographs, Shahbazi will present a painted re-working of a photographic portraits which she has commissioned from a commercial painter based in Tehran.  As this genre of painting is conventionally associated with advertising or political propaganda, the painted portrait places the private subjects of Shahbazi's work in the context of the public, political realm.  

Shirana Shabazi was born in Tehran in 1974.  She currently lives in Zurich, but travels regularly to Iran.  In 2002 she was awarded the Citigroup Photography Prize which is given to the artist judged each year to have made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography through exhibition or publication in Britain. Previous winners of the prize include Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky and Richard Billingham.  During February, Shahbazi will also be showing her series Goftare Nik (Good Words) at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

IMAGE:
Shirana Shahbazi
Goftare Nik series,
2000/01


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