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Ahmad Tabrizi, Untitled

Ahmad Tabrizi, Untitled (2012), photograph [grunt gallery, Vancouver BC, Jan 15-Feb 21]

Crossed: Ahmad Tabrizi

grunt gallery
Vancouver BC – Jan 15-Feb 21, 2015

Vancouver’s post-Expo ’86 film, television and gaming industry has had an enormous impact on the city’s art scene, but in a mixed way. Every art school graduating class has a story to tell of a talented young artist whose studio practice got set aside for jobs in set decoration, carpentry or computer-generated imagery.

For those at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in the early 1990s, Ahmad Tabrizi might be remembered as one such artist, though he has made occasional contributions to gallery events. How appropriate, then, that in his first solo exhibition in recent memory, Tabrizi crosses materials related to his work in costume design with the petite genre of portraiture.

Tabrizi’s crossing strategy includes more than just the literal play of dressmaking pins laid out in the shape of a head. In the exhibition’s promotional image, the ground on which this pin head and its cut-out eyes appear contains a diagonally rendered Farsi text. Viewers unfamiliar with Farsi will have to do better than to ask questions of this mouthless face, particularly when the only other option is to listen.

Michael Turner

 Sun, Feb 8, 2015