A Berlin Art Link Production
Interview by Monica Salazar
Filmed & Edited by Peter Cairns
Sara Rahbar, a mixed media artist based in New York, hails originally from Tehran, Iran. In 1981, a 5 year-old Rahbar fled with her family, travelling for over seven days from Tehran to Turkey to Dubai and then finally to New York during the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution and in the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war. Her personal experience in and between these two often conflicting countries is reflected through her unique perpective on religion, nationalism, politics and war.
(left) “Love left as easily as it came, darkness fell and we had no one left to blame” (2011); Mixed Media; 97.8 x 185.4 cm. (right) “The beauty of a moment condemned and crucified for making a crack in the wall” (2010); Mixed Media; 111.8 x 190.5 cm
Through installations, photographs and sculptures, each assigned a movingly poetic title, she outwardly communicates her ongoing internal dialogue about the world around her. She travels back-and-forth between Tehran and New York, as well as through cities in between, obsessively collecting a multitude of textiles and found objects, including such aggressive and powerfully symbolic objects as gasmasks, prosthetic limbs, weapons, flags and forceps. She then mixes and arranges these items together to create a new beautifully calm context that surprisingly evokes more ideas of peace than war.
Her work has been widely exhibited internationally, including Cairo, Mumbai, Dubai, Madrid, Vienna, Moscow, New York, London and Paris. It is also held in multiple collections worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Saatchi Collection in London, The Burger Collection in Hong Kong and the Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon, India.
“I lay in the darkness of an anonymous grave, stripped of you, i remain” (2009); C-Print; Image 4, Series of 5; 152.4 x 101.6 cm
“Its about falling, standing and attempting to survive it all. In the end we are all in exile, we are all just visiting and we all come to this earth alone and we leave alone. But while we are here we try so desperately to belong to something, to someone and to somewhere.
Metamorphosing and transforming for the means of surviving it all, our foundations lay, but our houses have burned to the ground. Building castles in the sky, for a species that cannot fly, brick by limb we tear it down. Thinking that we are moving forwards, yet moving backwards all along.
Gajar woman and golden toys, we wait for dawn ”
(left) “Kurdistan flag #5″ (2007); Textiles/Mixed Media; 89 x 165 cm (right) “flag #41: what ever we had to loose we lost, and in a moonless sky we marched” (2009); Textiles/Mixed Media; 124 x 188 cm
See more of Sara Rahbar’s work:
Current and Upcoming Exhibitions and Books:
NATIONAL TAIWAN MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, TAIWAN
“Activating Medi(t)ation, Examining Asian Cultural Perspectives in the M-shaped Age” – GROUP SHOW
Exhibition: Oct. 01, 2011- Jan. 01, 2012
Taichung’s No. 65 park, near the Cultural Affairs Bureau (Cultural Center)
Taichung City Government
SALSALI PRIVATE MUSEUM
“Show Off!” – GROUP SHOW (MUSEUM OPENING)
Exhibition: Nov. 14, 2011 – 14 January 2012
Al Quoz 1, Street 8
Alserkal Avenue, Unit 14
OH WOW, MIAMI
“It aint fair: Materialism” – GROUP SHOW
Exhibition: December 1 – 4, 2011
3841 NE 2nd Avenue, 203
Miami, FL 33137
CARBON 12 DUBAI
“Restless Violence” – SARA RAHBAR
Exhibition: March 2012
D37 Quoz 1, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue
MUSEUM ON THE SEAM, JERUSALEM
“West End” – GROUP SHOW
Exhibition: June 16th-January 2012
4 Chel Handasa st.
FLASH ART MAGAZINE
“Top 100 Artists”, November/December 2011
I HAVE NO FAITH LEFT FOR THE DEVIL TO TAKE
The first book to examine the practice of SARA RAHBAR
Essay by Catherine Grenier, adjunct director of Centre Pompidou
“DESPITE MOMENTS OF CLARITY, THERE IS NO “ISM” IN THIS BOOK”
100 New Artists, By Francesca Gavin
Laurance King Publishing 2011
“PEARLS ON THE OCEAN FLOOR”
A Film By Robert Adanto