Exhibition: Carry Me Home
‘Carry me home’ reflects upon the relationship between self and Other as well as the socio-political tensions present in nationalism’s relationship to violence.
The exhibition, curated by Justine Ludwig, Deputy Director / Chief Curator, brings together works that express the range of Rahbar’s practice from cast sculpture to constructions of accumulated objects and textile works. Each piece tells a story of the relationship between individual and society by drawing upon Rahbar’s personal history as well as global dynamics. Rahbar mines the politics of belonging.
Rahbar’s bronze body parts are present and unapologetic. Taken from casts of the artist’s own body, they are ripe with tension—muscles clenched as fingers contort and toes twist. It is a utilitarian presentation of limbs as they are reduced to base physical purpose. At times grafted upon pinchers, hooks, and chains, the body parts become symbols of labor and its human element. Similarly, wooden sculptures comprised of found and used objects such as vises and rifle butts rendered slick and shiny through human use, speak to the hybrid man-machine. These are found ‘lived’ objects with a history of use. Personal in scale the assemblages are simultaneously intimate and imposing.
Rahbar’s militarized textiles directly tie to the objects and symbols in which we place faith. Specifically as they relate to national identity and belonging. She contends with the history of the United States as a military super power with strong socio-political ties globally. In doing so she brings attention to the human cost and impact of warfare.
As a whole, ‘Carry me home’ looks at the legacy of war and the construct of the homeland. Rahbar addresses the codified systems of control that we have come to take for granted and the fraught, yet profoundly powerful, notions of belonging and home.
Born in Tehran in 1976, Rahbar lives and works in New York. She pursued an interdisciplinary study program in New York and also studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and design in London. She has exhibited widely in art institutions including but not limited to Queensland Museum, Sharjah Art foundation, Venice Biennial, The Centre Pompidou, and Mannheimer Kunstverein, and her works are included in the permanent collections of the British Museum, The Centre Pompidou, Queesnland Art Gallery, The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and the Sharjah Art Foundation amongst others.