Thaddaeus Ropac

Shirin Aliabadi

08 - 23 Jun 2011

© Shirin Aliabadi
Miss Hybrid 5, 2008
Lambda print
120 x 150 cm (47 x 59 in)
Miss Hybrid, City Girl
8 – 23 June, 2011

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delighted to announce an exhibition by Shirin Aliabadi. The artist will be presenting Miss Hybrid, a series of photographs that she began in 2006.

In Miss Hybrid Aliabadi shows a facet of the behaviour of young Iranian women today. Feminine and conscious of their looks, they have naturally absorbed the influences and fads of the modern West.
Veiled young women pose against a black background wearing blond wigs and light-coloured contact lenses. On their sometimes bold, sometimes proud and sometimes melancholy faces we can see the stigmata of new contemporary costums. The plasters on their noses suggest recent plastic surgery. In fact, the plaster has become an "it-sticker," a fashion statement by a generation that is determined to transform its look and to show it too. The operation is a status symbol, and therefore to be flaunted.

Attracted by the diversity of modern consumerism, these in-your-face beauties display their desire to get away from tradition and move towards the Western system of expression and representation. Young people in Tehran today are mixing up traditional popular culture and Americanised behaviour, composing a lifestyle that mashes Iranian pop and MTV.

Shirin Aliabadi takes her inspiration from everyday life and the people she knows in Tehran. She finds her models in the streets around her home or at the local hairdresser's. The artist explains that she has chosen to use humour and a light touch to talk about the veil, religion, the position of women in the Orient, and the transformations undergone by her country, which are all too often treated in an austere, over-emphatic way.

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