Delfina Foundation has announced the first London solo exhibition of site-specific works by Toronto-based Iranian artist Abbas Akhavan. Following a 10 week residency at Delfina Foundation, Akhavan will produce artworks in response to the Foundation’s new adjacent property. The resulting works will take over the house, and will offer visitors a unique opportunity to preview the building that the Foundation will expand into in Autumn 2013.
In its un-renovated state, 31 Catherine Place provides an intriguing backdrop for Akhavan, where he has been given carte blanche to create an installation throughout the entire house. Folding the border between the domestic space and the garden, Akhavan’s new work explores the intrusion of nature into the house – familiar spaces have gradually been invaded by foreign elements.
Akhavan’s practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance. For the past five years, the domestic sphere has been an on-going research in Akhavan’s work. Much of the early works explore the relationship between the house and nation state and how the trauma and systemic violence enacted upon civilians can be inherited and re- enacted within the family lineage – the home becoming a forked space between hospitality and hostility. More recent works have shifted focus onto spaces just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.
The residency and exhibition are in partnership with Canada House Arts Trust and Iranian Heritage Foundation. The Private View is hosted in association with The Third Line Dubai, UAE.
Akhavan’s work has been exhibited in spaces including Vancouver Art Gallery, the Power Plant, Darling Foundry (Canada), ABC Art Berlin Contemporary, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Germany), Kunsten Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), Le Printemps de septembre
a Toulouse (France), Bucharest Biennale (Romania) and Performa 11 (USA). Recent and upcoming residencies include Fundation Marcelino Botin (Spain), Axeno7, Video In, TSV, and Fogo Islands (Canada), Watermill Centre (USA), and The Delfina Foundation (Dubai, UAE). Akhavan was the recipient of Kunstpreis Berlin, 2012.
Abbas Akhavan took part in Delfina Foundation’s satellite residency programme in Dubai in Spring 2011. Along with four other artists, Akhavan was in residence for two months producing new work that was showcased at Art Dubai, the pinnacle of the Middle East’s cultural calendar. The programme’s aim was to shed light on emerging and mid-career talents, exposing these artists to a whole range of arts professionals and art-lovers alike. Akhavan’s projects in Dubai, in particular, received significant press attention.
Delfina Foundation is an independent, non- profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming, with a special focus on international collaborations with the greater Middle East & North Africa. In addition to its programmes in the UK, Delfina Foundation has organised opportunities for artists abroad
in six different countries through satellite programmes. To date, Delfina Foundation has hosted nearly 100 artists, curators and writers from 18 different countries as well as organised over 130 public events and activities reaching international audiences of 48,000.
In 2013, Delfina Foundation will expand into an adjacent property in Catherine Place SW1, doubling the number of residencies as well as the size of its exhibition space. The programmes for Delfina Foundation will also increasingly take on an international tone and partnerships are already being developed with Brazil and India – in addition to European partners.
Opening days/times: 09 October—20 November 2012 (Mon—Sat, 11:00—18:00)
Address: Delfina Foundation, 31 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY