artist / participant

press release

At Project Shahin Afrassiabi has been invited to create an installation in the gallery using works loaned from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection which is housed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

A characteristic of Afrassiabi's practice is to investigate the functioning and transformation of objects as elements in his sculpture. As part of his methodology, both coded and explicit reference is made to art history and modernism. In the same way that Afrassiabi referred to Lissitzky's drawings in previous works, this show sees the artist use specific works from the Musgrave Kinley Collection as a starting point, specifically an unusual drawing by Madge Gill.

Outsider artists are often referred to as self taught and/or naïve. According to one leading authority, Michel Thevoz, former curator of the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, outsider artists 'have not been culturally indoctrinated or socially conditioned. They are all kinds of dwellers on the fringes of society. Working outside the fine art systems they produce from the depths of their own personalities works of outstanding originality in concept, subject and technique."

The improvised approach to this new work is not only a new move which was hinted at in previous displays but also uses the same methodology as the so called outsider artists. Afrassiabi says of his work, "The world we live in is a fantasy world. I want to move away from that. What I invent is extrapolated from what exists - it's an augmentation and a rearrangement of object/relations without recourse to metaphor or narratives - hoping to reconfigure the subject." The positioning of works by 'outsider' artists in this context creates a situation in which their status becomes the subject of discussion as the misconceived other of mainstream art.

This show at Project marks Shahin Afrassiabi's third solo show. He was nominated for the Beck's Futures in 2001 and also participated in The Whitechapel show 'Early one morning' in 2002 which was a defining show for a new generation of British sculptors who were re-engaging with the formal and conceptual business of making things. Afrassiabi has also participated in numerous international shows which were held in New York, Tel Aviv, Cologne and London. He will be participating in Expo 21 in a group show curated by Simon Moretti which starts at Angel Row in Nottingham in March 2004.


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Shahin Afrassiabi