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Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of works by Sissi Farassat (Iranian\, b. 1969)\, which marks th e artist’s first one-person show in New York. The exhibition opens on Satur day\, 5 January and continues through Saturday\, 16 February 2013.
< br /> Encountering Farassat’s works\, one quickly understands that hundreds of hours have been spent making each photograph into a hand-made object. I n fact\, as an artist working in photography\, Farassat prefers to cancel o ut what seems to be most specific about the medium: the instantenousness of the image-making process and the purity of the photographic print. She phy sically repurposes the photographic print by taking needle and thread to th e print\, often stitching thousands of crystals\, beads\, or sequins onto i t in a method more closely related to tapestry than photography.

Farassat's works are autobiographical\, whether they begin as personal or found photographs\, and are a combination of Persian and Viennese influe nces. Initially\, she altered her old passports by embellishing them with s equins and beadwork\, again repurposing the passport from its original use to the artist's canvas or jumping off point. Subsequent works made use of s elf-portraits\, or rather\, as Richard Watts calls them\, “presentations of the self\, with her close surroundings (family and friends)”. He writes fu rther\, “The enactments run the whole gamut of patriarchal images of women: from mimicry of the ‘whore’ to the over-affirmative ‘saint’. (…) control o f one’s own image meets an elaborate iconography of the female\, as deploye d by advertising and the world of film and fashion” (Camera Austria\, 103-1 04\, 2008). More recent works are based on a cachet of slides that she foun d on a flea market\, depicting an anonymous\, presumably Austrian family po sing for the camera in everyday and vacation settings. It is easy to realiz e how little separates these random family snapshots from the other perform ative and staged images of Farassat’s oeuvre.

Farassat tends t o isolate the depicted persons through the application of her needling art\ , complicating for the viewer not only the distinction between the photogra ph and the object\, but also and even more so the relationship between fore - and background\, the revealed and the concealed\, the subject and its con text\, the sign and the signified. Farassat challenges our gaze and seems t o take pleasure in the ambivalence of her transformations. More recently\, she radicalized this approach by outlining the figure through her stitching s while presenting only the backside of the photographic print to the viewe r. We are left with a very minimal reference to photography as well as our own “experiences and projections”. Whatever side of the print\, and by exte nsion the side of her artistic practice\, she presents to us\, she always e levates photography to a three-dimensional object and imposes a prolonged p rocess on this medium. In other words\, her conceptual approach seems perfe ctly aligned with her process and vice versa.

Born in Teheran in 1969\, Farassat moved with her family to Vienna in 1978. She has been w orking as a photographer since 1991 and attended the International Summer A cademy conducted by Nan Goldin in 1993. She was a student of Friedl Kubelka at the School of Fine Arts Photography in Vienna (1993-94). Afterwards\, s he received a stipend for Paris from the Austrian Department for Education\ , Science and Art to realize her series Self Portrait Paris. Her work has b een widely exhibited internationally\, amongst others at Landesgalerie Linz \, Museum of Vienna\, National Gallery of Art Poland\, Galerie Kashya Hilde brand in Zürich\, the Fototriennale in Vienna\, Fotogalerie Vienna\, Hara M useum Tokyo and Fotohof Salzburg. Farassat’s work is included in a number o f important private and institutional collections\, such as the Fotomuseum Winterthur\, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich\,
MAK - Museum für Angewandte Kun st in Vienna\, Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten\, Collection Essl in Vienna\, Collection of the City of Linz and Collection of the City of Vienna. She li ves and works in Vienna\, Austria.

DTEND:20130216 DTSTAMP:20141023T165842 DTSTART:20130105 GEO:40.76326;-73.973161 LOCATION:Edwynn Houk Gallery\,745 Fifth Avenue\, 4th Floor \nNew York\, NY 10151 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Sissi Farassat UID:251744 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR