grunt gallery presents Crossed, an exhibition by artist Ahmad Tabrizi and curated by Makiko Hara. This multi-media exhibition creates a sense of portraiture compiled of Farsi script, piles of dressmaking pins, and glimpses of the artist himself – both visually and through audio.
Tabrizi studied comparative literature in Tehran, with an eventual goal to pursue a Ph.D in Persian Literature and a teaching career. His involvement in the student movement leading up to the Iranian revolution led to his flight from Iran after which he eventually found refuge in Vancouver.
“This installation [addresses] intellectual claustrophobia through language as a weapon of attack and defense; what is lost in the communication becomes loud sounds, weaponized sounds, sounds through the presence of pins. Pins are a universal symbol of pain, like a loud “ouch,” but silent at the same time.
It is also a portrait, but reduced to just eyes and language. The self-portrait of pinheads, though there is no specific self, is perhaps a very oddball portrait – oddballs of displacement and misplacement and the “door” separating Us and Them. The Persian language written on the “door” is used as decoration or beauty (surface). The English is used as tag or brandification – one as “unknown,” one as insult/poetry or slogan of the collective experiences of refugees, the exiled, marginalized or what is “normally” perceived as “the Others.”
– Ahmad Tabrizi, artist statement.
Join us on Thursday January 15th from 7pm – 10pm for the opening reception of this exhibition. A curatorial text by Makiko Hara and an essay written by Lorna Brown will be available at the opening. The exhibition runs from January 15 to February 21, 2015.
Ahmad Tabrizi is an Iranian Vancouver-based artist who studied Persian literature in the University of Tehran in early 1980s. After arrival in Canada in 1987 as a political refugee, he studied at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, dropping out in the second year. Ahmad has exhibited in various venues throughout the 1990s including Helen Pitt Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, Photo Based Gallery, “A Walk is” Gallery, Canadian Craft Museum, and Community Art Council, just to name a few. He has been doing performance art at various venues including Western Front and the Abbey Studio.
Tabrizi has also co-written a catalogue essay for Shirin Neshat’s exhibit at Artspeak Gallery (1997) and most recently contributed an essay for Ali Ahadi’s exhibition at grunt gallery (2012). Also, he wrote a short story for Ann Murray Fleming’s short film Pleasure Film/ Ahmad’s Story.
He received the Exploration grant from Canada Council for the Arts in 1996 as well as the Emerging Artist grant in 1998.
Tabrizi has been working in the film industry as a costume designer since 1998.
Makiko Hara is an independent curator based in Vancouver. Hara was the curator at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art between 2007 and 2013. She has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions by Japanese, Canadian, and international artists for over 20 years in Japan and Canada. She has served as project coordinator for several international
exhibitions, including the Yokohama Triennale (2001/2005) and the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale (2003). Hara was one of the three curators for the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (2009) in Toronto. She has contributed essays to catalogues and magazines. Recent essays include an entry in Mutation, Perspectives on Photography, Paris (2011) and “Rethinking of Tokyo Art Speak,” in Institutions by Artists: Volume 1, Fillip (2012)
PDF Download | Ahmad Tabrizi exhibition and curatorial essay’s by Lorna Brown & Makiko Hara
Ahmad Tabrizi’s Crossed digs into loss and expression | Georgia Straight
A portrait of the artist as an exile | The Source
Crossed by Ahmad Tabrizi | Photos by Henri Robideau
grunt gallery gratefully acknowledge the Hamber Foundation for making this exhibition possible.