Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nairy Baghramian

Born in 1971, the Iranian artist relocated to Germany in her teens. Now based in Berlin, Baghramian is a rising figure among a younger generation of artists, like Paulina Olowska and last year's Turner prize nominee Goshka Macuga, who are reinterpreting art history on their own terms. An earlier work like Fourth Wall, Two Female Protagonists, for example, was a minimal piece of stage set: rectangular metal frames that conjured the invisible wall between performer and viewer.

Though her work frequently alludes to furniture and domestic spaces, Baghramian is more interested in the secret histories that exist behind closed doors. In the 1930s and 1940s, interior design was a haven for women like Janette Laverrière, or the gay Jewish modernist designer Jean Michel Frank, ostracised from the boy's club that was architecture. In 2007, she actually tracked down the now 100-year-old Laverrière, inviting her to collaborate on a project for the Berlin Biennial. A highlight of the event, it put both women firmly on the international art map and marked the beginning of a series of joint projects that have continued to this day.

Deserted Frame

Janette Laverrière / Nairy Baghramian / Carlo Mollino, Entre deux actes II (Loge des Comédiennes), reconstruction of the installation 'Entre deux actes'

Class Reunion

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