Sasan Abri’s recent series is based on the notion of interfering in the common process of making and presenting artworks about urban landscapes. He had previously used photography to deliver images of some well-known, old, and abandoned brick buildings of Tehran in his “The Dormant Yellow” series (2013), in which the images taken by analogue camera were transferred onto small sheets of cardboard using paint thinner, after which the small pieces were put together like a puzzle to represent the overall image. Here in “Exposed” series, he has taken digital photos from the cityscape, capturing tall buildings in the skyline of Tehran. The viewpoint of the camera is somewhere between the ground and the sky, suspended and unreliable. Like Tehran, it is growing every day, heading for an uncertain, vague future. He mirror printed and then transferred the images on a large sheet of cardboard. This time, the integrity of the images are maintained, but still one can notice the trace of his “touches,” the way he has transferred the color of the printed images from the paper to the work, those orderly stripes caused by the repetitious, meditative rhythmic action of the artist working like a craftsman.
The focus of interest in Polaroid photography is what Abri experiments with playfully. Therefore, the second part of the exhibition includes Polaroid photos showing the common scenario of any metropolis: growing iron structures, some of which are abandoned even for decades. In “Conjunctivitis” series (2012), he had also worked with Polaroid, a special type of instant films with particular usage instruction that, by the way, he did not follow. The result was red, seemingly odd images. In his most recent series, Polaroid comes with costume-made, metal frames and cardboards from obsolete shabby suitcases for background, on which images are mounted; nostalgia-inducing materials like Polaroid images themselves. Once more, these images are somehow deconstructed and disassembled, then put back together in a new order by a novel logic. Layers of each Polaroid image are detached and then transferred on glass.
In both group of works from “Exposed” series, unpredictable and uncontrollable process of creation, delicately shapes unique edition of artworks from the main photos. This is the way Abri sees the city through his own scrupulous vision of the world; an unpredictable no return sequence of acts that make art and life challenging and incentive.