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"Babak Ghazi: I Won't Let You Down"
2004-12-15 until 2005-01-22
Counter Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

In the work ‘4U’ (2004) a poster of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, Babak Ghazi partly obscures the image by a reflective curtain of silver foil tinsel. While this barrier deflects any intrusive gaze from seeing his visage in full, he remains, however, highly recognisable from his hyper-dandy, self-designed clothes and determinedly androgynous physique. Now a multivalent symbol, his name long since abandoned, and with a history of never fully revealed, multiple personae, he represents a triumphant act of self-definition.

Elsewhere in the exhibition high gloss fashion magazine adverts, fragments of Compact Discs, more tinsel and mirrors create further reflective surfaces. It is within this reflective life-world that Ghazi investigates desires and their prospects for ‘creating your self’.

Amidst these shifting potentials stand ‘You and Me’ (2004), a sculpture consisting of a microphone taped to a floor lamp. It’s a makeshift emblem of public expression, with the light forming a defined spotlight area of small but plausible change.

The provisional quality of Ghazi’s work, combined with the use of humdrum materials serves to de-amplify any gravitas that might be afforded it. Yet the disarmingly lightweight nature of the work doesn’t preclude the presence of discourse - if anything, it infers its presence. Likewise it doesn’t represent a lack of commitment from Ghazi, who has written: ‘I would like to think about the self. Because that implies agency, as well as a host of hopes and fears. By reconsidering the self, we can begin to think about self-determination. By dealing with the situation in which we are active it is possible to reset our limits. Each situation must be described specifically. If we can transcend the choice offered, and redefine our coordinates, we can choose the impossible’.

Babak Ghazi (b.1976, London), studied at Edinburgh College of Art and graduated from the MA Programme at Chelsea College of Art in 2001. His recent collaborative projects include The Principle of Hope at Three Colts Gallery, London and an evening of performance Not Yet Night, The Ship, London.


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