Karsten Greve

Lynn Davis

15 Dec 2005 - 25 Feb 2006

Ancient Persia

From 15 December 2005 to 18 February 2006
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am-7 pm

The artist will be present at the opening on Thursday 15 December from 6-8 p.m.

After the exhibitions Monument in 2002 and China in 2004, the Karsten Greve Gallery is pleased to present the new series of works by Lynn Davis, Ancient Persia. A catalogue will be available.
As heir to the grand tradition of traveller-photographers who were born in the 19th century, as well as American landscape photography, Lynn Davis has travelled the length and breadth of the Americas, Australia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Her photographs do not so much bear witness to as glorify the beauty of places and the feelings they arouse, in pictures constructed with lines and spare forms.
Fascinated by the sites of ancient Persia, Lynn Davis was already been engaged in her research work when she was able to travel to Iran in 2001 for a brief lull when the political context was favourable. Based on a constant aesthetic purpose, she proceeds by way of series and adopts large square formats, usually in black and white. Her deviceless shots and often head-on framing may call to mind the neutrality of an inventorial kind of photography or, conversely, magnify the geometry and monumentality of landscapes and architectures. The eye thus focuses on the sites themselves, deserted as they are, while the photographer deletes herself from the image. The intensity created by thus looking at these history-laden monuments is redoubled by contrasts of scale--majestic or lowly--and time-frame, between permanence and time's passage.
From Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achemenid Empire, to the remarkable architectures of "ice houses", Lynn Davis captures in her photographs the feelings experienced before the vestiges of a pioneering civilization. Associated with the names of Cyrus the Great, Darius, and Xerxes, the architecture has retained the imprint of the many cultures which then co-existed. Lynn Davis was especially moved by the intriguing Zoroastrian "towers of silence", where the dead were laid out to protect the earth from bodily impurities. As a monotheistic religious doctrine founded in the first millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism thrived until the Arab conquest imported Islam. From that period Lynn Davis has photographed the rich decorative motifs of mosques, thus bringing us up to the contemporary period, with the Azadi tower, built during the reign of the Shah near Tehran. At once timeless and thoroughly topical, these photographs do not shrink from the reality of the country as it is today, suggesting it as if between the lines.

For any information, please contact Eloïse Guénard at the gallery. eloiseguenard@karstengreve.fr

© Lynn Davis
Ice House, Road to Shiraz, Iran, 2001

Tags: Lynn Davis