Hidden Camera: Bahar Behbahani
February 7 – March 3, 2013
Large-scale paintings from the artist’s My Faantazee series presented at Causey Contemporary
Brooklyn, NY - Causey Contemporary gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Hidden Camera by Bahar Behbahani. The exhibition, which will feature a selection of Behbahani's Mixed media paintings from her My Faantazee series, marks her first solo exhibition with the gallery. Her painting, installation, photography and video art have previously appeared with the gallery at Overture Miami Art Fair, and in several group exhibitions at the gallery's former location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hidden Camera will open with an artist's reception on February 7 as part of First Thursday in DUMBO and will run through Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Hidden Camera features a selection of Ms. Behbahani's paintings from the My Faantazee series. Behbahani began working on this series in her Brooklyn studio, five years after relocating to the United States from Iran. Whereas she purposefully layered earlier works to ensure the subjects and meanings were obscured from familiar prying eyes, her recent body of paintings—created some 6000 miles from those particular constraints—were completed with an anticipated freedom from the feeling that “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” (George Orwell, 1984) Nonetheless in creating her recent series of paintings, Behbahani found that the "essence of being watched is universally infused."
The works capture their subjects mid-action, as if by camera. Moments are frozen. Their endeavors come with the promise of sweet ‘treats’—in the name of a liberation operation or simply a free rectal exam. Witty characters are ensnared in this pop-grotesque world: horny babies, seductive kids, totemic fetish toys, donkeys and American-made superheroes.
Surprised that her physical displacement from the East to the West brought her a vivid political and social déjà vu, the protagonists in Behbahani’s new series—from babies to iconic superheroes—each entertain a fear of being watched. They anxiously search for hidden cameras and eyes. This constant fear imbues a childhood hyper-maturity as well as an adult infancy, as beings in all stages of life are subjugated to this invasiveness.
Behbahani states that "as artist, viewer and subject in a chaotic and absurd parody, I play out political frustrations and social resentments. I am the theatrical storyteller of flirtatious fairytales of confrontation and discomfort."
About the artist:
Born in Tehran, Iran, Bahar Behbahani is a multidisciplinary artist who lives in New York. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Painting in Tehran. Her painting, installation, photography and video art have been featured in the Sydney Biennial, Sydney; Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates; Christie's, London; United Nations, Geneva; Asian Art Biennial, Bangladesh, Miramar Museum, Zagreb; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Queens Museum, New York; and Tribeca Film Festival, New York, MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy.
In 2007, for the 13th Annual International Exhibition of Women's Art, New York City, the artist's video Suspended was selected 'Best in Show' by Carrie Springer, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art. Guggenheim Museum Curator Suzanne Cotter selected the video Ride the Caspian—Behbahani's recent collaboration with Kazakhstani artist Almagul Menlibayeva—for the 2011 Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates. The video was again selected for the 18th Sydney Biennial.
Ms. Behbahani's current exhibition, Hidden Camera, will be on view at Causey Contemporary's DUMBO, Brooklyn location (111 Front Street, Suite 212-14) from February 6 - March 3, 2013. An opening reception with Behbahani will be held on February 7 from 6 - 9pm as part of the neighborhood's first Thursday events.