Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 12 March 2012 - The Farjam Foundation is pleased to present Hybrid, a solo exhibition of works by Iranian photographer and artist Shirin Aliabadi, to open Monday March 19th on Art Nights at Gate Village DIFC. This exhibition will include works from Aliabadi’s previous series of Girls in Cars, Miss Hybrid, City Girls, and Eye Love You, and present two new bodies of work not before showcased entitled Glamour Girls and Love Triangle. Aliabadi’s diverse oeuvre, which recontexualizes the depiction of Iranian feminine beauty and freedom mark a constant theme throughout her work. This exhibition displays her command of photography, drawing, and mixed media together with playful cynicism in a series of works taken from Dr. Farhad Farjam’s illustrious private collection.
Aliabadi's two new series continue her preferred subject of the Iranian woman, their outlook on beauty, the art of fashion and how these two elements represent them to a Western audience.
Love Triangle is inspired from illustrated women's magazines frequent in 1960’s Iran. Made up of fashion features, recipes, and columns on life, work, and home décor, they also published short romance stories and tales of intrigue and love. Since banned, these illustrated shorts have made a comeback to viewers through Aliabadi's mixed media works. Women are drawn in various poses and reactions, accompanying the words and expressing the emotions that are written. Collage and color make up these images, along with Aliabadi's penchant for gaudy eye makeup which makes an appearance in each frame.
Without being contrived, Aliabadi continues with her theme in Glamour Girls, a collection of mixed media pieces in exploring the private, feminine and somewhat undisclosed side of life in Tehran. Working with models, she requested they dress as they would if attending a wedding. The variety displayed by each image depicts the extent taken to overshadow each other (in some cases, including the bride), and prove an equal challenger to the 'Western woman' in categories of clothing, make up and style, once the chador is off. The heavily made up eyes – each uniquely crafting a story, adorned with birds, hearts and flora - create a hybridity present in all of Aliabadi’s portraits: art in art. Vibrant colors and glittered outlines make up the woman; the woman in need of self-expression.
The opening of Hybrid will take place on Monday, March 19 during Art Nights at Gate Village, between 6pm and 8pm. The exhibition will run until June 19, 2012.
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About Shirin Aliabadi
An art history and archaeology graduate of the University of Paris, Shirin Aliabadi is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tehran.
Aliabadi’s work includes Girls In Cars was a series of enlarged snapshots of Tehran girls stuck in traffic, clearly made-up to go to parties, and Hybrid Girl, a series of highly polished studio shots of hip young Iranian girls posing with telephones, lolly-pops and other props, wearing colored contact lenses, platinum blond hair and vibrant chadors.
Aliabadi explores the cracks that are created within monolithic socially oppressive systems by the emergence of small subcultures, specifically within Tehran. She has exhibited in shows at The Third Line, Dubai, Asia House, London, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France; and extensively throughout Europe, Iran and the UAE.
The Farjam Foundation @ DIFC
The Farjam Foundation @ DIFC showcases a rotating series of exhibit