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  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
30th anniversary
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Current Exhibition

Shadi Ghadirian EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
Challenging the international preconceptions of women’s roles within an Islamic state, Tehran-based artist Shadi Ghadirian’s photographs draw from her own experiences as a modern woman living within the ancient codes of Shariah law. Her images describe a positive and holistic female identity, humorously taking issue with the traditional roles by which women – both in the Middle East and universally – have been defined.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
Ghadirian uses an ordinary kitchen utensil as a readymade pun. Through her simple recontextualisation of a cleaver, she develops a fictional character of hilarious proportions as the old adage of ‘hatchet face’ comes to life as a one eyed shrew. Branded with the knife company’s label – Shogun – she’s not a woman to be reckoned with.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
Through her staged photographs, Ghadirian’s everyday objects become elevated from anonymity to form a group of distinctive portraits. Humorously drawing upon the humanistic forms of each item, common goods resonate with suggestive narratives, ironically exaggerating misogynist typecasts. In this work a colander adeptly represents a woman who’s all mouth: a neighbourhood gossip conceived as a human sieve, endlessly broadcasting like a loud speaker.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
A shrouded broom huddles with timid demureness, her form most associated with ‘doormat’; beneath her veil, however, the broom handle stands in for a sturdy backbone. With her countenance made up of a straw besom, her expression appears wizened and worn, indicating time honoured knowledge and the tenacity and temper of a charwoman.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
Her Like Everyday Series was created from the plethora of domestic gifts she received after her wedding – items completely foreign to a young professional. Using these objects – such as irons and frying pans – as masks to cover the faces of her veiled sitters, Ghadirian’s photos ironically portray a one-dimensional interpretation of housewives, absurdly reducing their identities to cooks and cleaners.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
The title of Ghadirian’s Like Everyday Series refers both to the materials she uses in her photos and the derogatory social perceptions that women regularly face. Her cast of crudely rendered women cleverly reinvents the sources of negative stereotyping as attributes of empowerment. A grater-faced wife, the dreaded prototype of mother-in-law jokes everywhere, radiates a steely and abrasive determination.
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Like Everyday Series

2000-2001

C-print

183 x 183 cm
Replacing the expected monotone of the black chador with vibrantly patterned fabrics, each portrait suggests a vivacious individuality and character, belying the limitations of stereotype. Similarly, the mundane objects, when transformed into faces, become highly poised and charismatic caricatures, embodying individual personalities.
Untitled from the Ghajar Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Ghajar Series

1998-1999

C-print

213 x 152 cm
The Ghajar dynasty ruled Iran from 1794-1925; and from its inception photography was popular with the elite, documenting women as well as men. The images from this period tend to share stylistic devices: people are posed, usually as individuals rather than groups, in the very elaborate settings of their homes, often sat next to or holding prized possessions or objects of status. In photos of this period, women were permitted to be pictured in less formal dress within the privacy of their homes, and some members of the Shah’s harem were even photographed in tutus in accordance with his predilection for the ballet. Though Ghadirian’s images replicate the settings and traditional costumes of this time, her women are presented in a much more modest way in their postures and poses, in adherence to more ‘contemporary’ custom.
Untitled from the Ghajar Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Ghajar Series

1998-1999

C-print

213 x 152 cm
Ghadirian’s Untitled from the Ghajar Series is shocking not only for its anachronistic props, but for the sheer brazenness of her subject: defiant in her gangsta posturing and holding a ridiculously large ghetto-blaster. Ironically, this image is most in keeping with her historical references, showing the self-possessed attitude of her sitter. In this piece Ghadirian’s surreal time-warp happens in reverse: the initial joke is that the 1980s radio is out of place in the antique setting, but it is the vintage scene and pose which is in fact much more modern. Ghadirian uses this subtle humour to describe a contemporary Iranian female experience of existing as if outside of time.
Untitled from the Ghajar Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Ghajar Series

1998-1999

C-print

213 x 152 cm
Inspired by 19th century photographs from the Ghajar period – the first portraits to be permitted by religious law – Ghadirian carefully reconstructed the opulent style of these images with the help of many friends: borrowing antique furnishings and costumes, commissioning the painted backdrops, inviting them to pose in the images. Picturing each woman in a bygone era, each scene is jarringly interrupted by the presence of contemporary products – a phone, boom-box, hoover – pointing to a culture clash of tradition and progress. The women stare out from the photos with an unnerving directness, detached from their environment, and confident within themselves.
Untitled from the Ghajar Series
Shadi Ghadirian
Untitled from the Ghajar Series

1998-1999

C-print

213 x 152 cm
Ghadirian’s Untitled from the Ghajar Series is shocking not only for its anachronistic props, but for the sheer brazenness of her subject: defiant in her gangsta posturing and holding a ridiculously large ghetto-blaster. Ironically, this image is most in keeping with her historical references, showing the self-possessed attitude of her sitter. In this piece Ghadirian’s surreal time-warp happens in reverse: the initial joke is that the 1980s radio is out of place in the antique setting, but it is the vintage scene and pose which is in fact much more modern. Ghadirian uses this subtle humour to describe a contemporary Iranian female experience of existing as if outside of time.

Shadi Ghadirian's BIOGRAPHY

Shadi Ghadirian
Born in 1974, Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in Tehran, Iran



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2009
Aeroplastics Contemporary, Belgium
FCG Duesseldorf, Germany
Co2 Gallery, Rom
Boudin Lebon Gallery, Paris

2008
Los Angeles County Muesum of Art, California
Silk Rad, Tehran
Tasweer Gallery, India

2007
B21 Gallery, Dubai
Photography Festival of Istanbul, Turkey

2006
French Cultural Center, Damascus, Syria
Al mamal Foundation2, Jerusalem, Palestine

2002
Villa Moda, Kuwait

2001
Exhibition of Fnac, France

1999
Golestan Gallery, Tehran


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2009
Mall Gallery, Masques of Shahrzad, London
Group photo exhibition, Italian School, Tehran
165 years of Iranian Photography, Du Quai Branly Museum, Paris
Routes, Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery, London
Guild Art Gallery, New york
Galerie Ernst Hilger, Austria
Arario Gallery New York

2008
Word Into Art, DIFC, Dubai
Cramer Contemporary, Switzerland
Exprmntl gallery , Toulouse, France

2007
Noorderlicht photofestival, Netherlands
La Paz, Bolivia
San Diego Convention Centre, California
Silk Road, Tehran

2006
Blessed are the Merciful, Feigen Contemporary, New York
Artspace Witzenhausen , Amsterdam
The Veiled Mirror, Contemporary Iranian Photography, De Santos Gallery, Houton, Texas,
Word into Art : Artists of the Modern Middle East, The British Museum, London,
Image of Middle East, dccd, Denmark
Ey Iran, Contemporary Iranian Photography, Gold Cost City Art Gallery, Australia
Representation and Use of the Body in Art, Galerie Helene Lamarque, Paris
Le Rectangle, Lyon, France
Selyemes Fenyek, Budapest
Inaugura en Tucumán, Mexico

2005
How eastern look at western, CCCB, Barcelona
Rebel mind Gallery, Berlin
Foto Art Festival, Poland
Group Exhibition, After the revolution, Sansebastian, Spain
Aeroplastics Gallery, Belgium
N Gallery, Georgia
Galata Fotografhanesi, Istanbul
Boudin Lebon Gallery, Paris
Third Line Gallery, Dubai

2004
San Jose Museum of Art, New York
The House of World Cultures, Berlin
Photo Biennale of Moscow, Russia
Parliament of Brussels
Photo Biennale of Luxemburg
Chobi Mella 3, Bangladesh

2003
Harem Fantasies and the new Scheherzades, Spain and France
Sharjah International Biennial 6, Sharjah
Women in Orient - Women in Occident, Germany
Konstmuseum Gutenberg, Sweden
Ville De Bologna, France
Veil exhibition, The new Art Gallery,Walsall, Liverpool, Oxford, England
Sorbonne University, Paris

2002
Silk Road Gallery, Tehran
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
Thssaloniki Museum of Photography (Glimpses Of Iran), Greece

2001
A Space Gallery, Toronto
Barbican Art Center (Iranian Contemporary Art), London
Photospania Festival, Spain
Regards Persans, Espace Electra, Paris

2000
Inheritance, Leiton House Museum, London
Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center Copenhagen, Denmark
Ballymena Arts Festival, Northern Ireland
The House of World Cultures, Berlin
The Iranian Women's Studies Foundation, Worth Ryder Gallery at University of California, Berkeley

1999
Leighton House Museum, London

1998
Sooreh International photo exhibition, Tehran
Barg Gallery, Tehran

1997
Group Exhibition (About Children) Aria Gallery, Tehran
Tehran International Documentary Photo exhibition, Tehran