For her second exhibition at the gallery, in camera presents around twenty works of Sissi Farassat.
Vienna-based artist Sissi Farassat (b. 1969, Tehran) has always kept pace with her own drum, continually expanding traditional notions of the medium of photography. For years she has been exploring and designing various techniques in order to decelerate the photographic process and the way we see her works. For Farassat, photography and printing are only the beginning of her creative journey, as what follows are long days and evenings of elaborate handwork and delicate alterations. The print is often embroidered, perforated, studded with stones and sequins, decorated with threads or garlands, practices that were once considered women’s crafts but have since become widespread.
Subsequently, in her latest series, Sissi Farassat reinvents what interests her most in photography, namely playing with what is visible and what happens in our minds when we look at images. To this end, she collected old, anonymous photographs from European flea markets, usually portraits or nudes, and cut out passepartout that only revealed parts of these prints. The size of the frame and the location of the mat opening tell the viewer about the image without completely revealing it. Here, it is the spectator’s imagination that must do the rest. The anonymity of the person depicted and the deliberate concealment of much of the image play with contemporary limits on privacy and image rights, as well as the pervasiveness of exhibitionism and voyeurism. in social networks.
This work clearly responds to the artist’s earlier practice, which sought to bring out the photographic moment through contemplation, manual labor and elaborate manipulation. Although she always seeks to formally adorn, even to ennoble, photographic prints and to give them a plastic and haptic dimension, she also intends to focus our attention and, in doing so, to question what we see, how and why.
Sissi Farassat was born in Tehran in 1969 where she spent part of her childhood before settling in Vienna in 1978.
A graduate of the International Summer Academy and the School of Fine Art in Vienna, the artist transforms everyday objects into symbols of identity with a more whimsical appearance, enriching her photographs with glitter and colored materials. Unlike other forms of retouched photography (such as collage and colored or hand-painted photos), sewing and embroidery are techniques where the surface of the image is perforated. These artisanal gestures constitute a voodoo practice, soft and contemplative, which transforms the surface of the image, splitting it into many small particles, and penetrating also the back of the photo. Sissi Farassat thus applies highlights to her photographs with intersecting threads or carpets of sequins, which bring physical and textural qualities to the image.
Photographs, protected by glass, are often subject to the effects of light refraction. But the glass also “seals” the photographic surface and prevents any direct contact with our gaze. In intimate rooms or “banal” interiors, Sissi Farassat creates self-portraits, and portraits of friends or family members. Embroidering a photo can take weeks, and brings the artist to personally confront the subjects she has photographed, with this slow and patient manual work.
March 30 – May 27, 2023
in camera galerie
21, rue Las Cases