Views of the exhibition Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionelle at S.M.A.K. Ghent, 2016-2017 / Photos: Timo Ohler
Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle marks the artist’s first international museum presentation. Over the past two decades, Baghramian (b. 1971, Iran; lives and works in Berlin) has created sculptures and site-responsive installations that play off the body and its gestures. Her works mark boundaries, transitions, and gaps in the museum and urban space, referencing interior and exterior, fashion and design, theater and dance, form and meaning. Using such materials as curved steel, soft rubber, plastic, wax, and fabric as well as cast or combined elements and photography, Baghramian questions and challenges the definition of sculpture.
The exhibition is comprised of a series of new pieces that mirror the artist’s previous bodies of work while responding directly to each site, allowing the notion of the retrospective to evolve in real time and space. Taking its title from a French phrase that indicates an adjustment made to one’s worldview from being overly specialized or made expert, the exhibition also speaks to the process of taking apart one’s profession—in this case, laying bare the sculptor’s method. Through her playful take on the retrospective gaze, Baghramian unpacks and interrogates the conceptual, physical, and social aspects of sculpture.
Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis with Victoria Sung
September 7, 2017 – February 4, 2018 / Walker Art Center