Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle



Walker Art Center


725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403



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Nairy Baghramian:  Professionnelle

Sep 7, 2017–Feb 4, 2018

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 often address the body and its gestures. Her works mark boundaries, transitions, and gaps in  museum and urban sites, considering form and meaning through the conditions of interior and exterior space.

View of the exhibition Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionelle at S.M.A.K. Ghent, 2016-2017 (Photograph: Timo Ohler)

The artist questions and challenges the boundaries of sculpture in artworks that juxtapose rubber with steel, wood with wax, or assembled elements with photography. Many of her works provocatively reference fashion, design, theater, and dance. The show presents a series of new pieces that mirror the artist’s previous bodies of work while responding directly to the gallery site, allowing the notion of the retrospective to evolve in real time and space.

The exhibition takes its title from a French phrase often translated as “professional distortion” or “job conditioning,” referring to ways that a person’s worldview can be altered by a chosen vocation. Baghramian uses the show as an opportunity to take apart her own profession. The word deformationcan also be applied to form and relates to the basic actions involved in making sculpture, such as shaping, modeling, and casting. Through her playful yet critical take on the notion of a survey exhibition, Baghramian interrogates the conceptual, physical, and social aspects of sculpture-making today.

View of the exhibition Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionelle at S.M.A.K. Ghent, 2016-2017 (Photograph: Timo Ohler)

Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis with Victoria Sung

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Earshot, 2016

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