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Carbon 12 exhibition deconstructs and exhibits Ghazel's "Family Tree" as short scenes
Ghazel, Family Tree - Episode 7 (Iran Khaleh & Dino) video still - 1m30s - 2013. Photo: Courtesy Carbon 12.

DUBAI.- Carbon 12 presents Ghazel’s second solo exhibition, “Family Tree”, from her seminal “Me” series, ongoing since 1997 with over 730 scenes. “Family Tree” is for the first time deconstructed and exhibited as short scenes.

“Family Tree” consists of 12 episodes made from family stories enacted by the artist via her “Me” series persona: in a black chador. The artist re-incarnates each of the characters herself, becoming her great aunt, her dog, her mom, her brother, her dad, her nanny, an approach that exudes her humor. Her multiple narrations and characters change and challenge the aesthetics of her work and its representation in such a way that this new direction almost elicits a new name for its new visage: “Me and the Others”.

“Family Tree” is a fresh project for Carbon 12 presented differently from the typical institutional exhibition-style, but still maintains the (albeit, intensified) fragmented and “tranches de vie” of the Ghazelian aesthetic. The five single-scene videos and seven photographs are deliberately “deconstructed” into “scattered” yet coherent video installations and framed images. The captions paired with her C-prints are as crucial as the photographs themselves, creating a narration critical to each work. Embodying another “Ghazel-ism”, her sense of humor, the narratives give a voice to contrast against the silence of the photographs.

Ghazel (b. 1966, Tehran, Iran) is one of the most significant Iranian contemporary artists on the international contemporary art scene, a pioneer of video art and performance. The “Me” series has been shown extensively around the world since 2000, with exhibitions in prestigious institutions and Biennials such as the 50th Venice Biennial, Venice, the 8th Havana Biennial, Cuba, Hannover Museum, Germany, The Hayward Gallery, UK, Centre Pompidou, Paris, MAC, Chile, and is currently installed in “Le Pont” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Marseille. Ghazel is also in the permanent collections of prestigious museums such as: Centre Pompidou, Paris (Me 1997-2000), MUMOK, Vienna (Me 2000-2003) and Cité nationale d’histoire de l’immigration, Paris (Me 2003-2008). The series has also been the subject of many texts, debates, discussions, and conferences by esteemed writers and art historians.

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