Setareh Shahbazi is a visual artist based in Berlin. She compiles and transforms micronarratives through conversations, observations, collaborations, visual notes and found photographs. With a playful irreverence to the sanctity of a photograph as a mirror of reality she drains details out of images found in public archives and private collections, snapshots, films, newspapers, social media and daily newsfeeds. In trying to make sense of their broken narratives, their im-/possible translations into different contexts, temporalities and languages, she is constantly shifting perspectives to allow these observations to come together in a fictional afterlife.

Setareh Shahbazi studied Scenography, Visual Art and Media Theory at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and spent the following years living and working between Beirut, Tehran, Cairo and Berlin, where she is currently based.

Her work has been shown in solo shows at Tarahane Azad, Tehran; Gypsum Gallery, Cairo; 98weeks Project Space, Beirut; Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara; Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg; Montgomery, Berlin and at Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe.

Her groupshows include Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin; Wei Ling Contemporary, Kuala Lumpur; Depo, Istanbul; 17 Essex, NY; Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Sharjah Biennial 13; UAE; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Kunsthaus Wien; Beirut Art Center, Lebanon; Program, Berlin; Kunstverein Frankfurt; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut; HKW, Berlin; Fondation Cartier, Paris and Rooseum, Malmö.

Exhibitions (selected)


Sunsets Are Not Overrated, in collaboration with Neda Saeedi; Lumbung Film: AFTER CINEMA #1, documenta fifteen

Flowers and Monuments, Casa Arabe, Cordoba and (online)


Redeem, Haus der Statistik, Berlin

Step Out of the Strange Light, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin


She Who Is Watching, Wei-Ling Contemporary, Kuala Lumpur

Up Above Was Fog, Down Below Was A Cloud of Dust, Depo, Istanbul


A Rain of Light & Death, 17 Essex, New York

Comfort Zone (Home), VCU Gallery, Doha


The Truth about Fiction, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo

From Ear to Ear to Eye, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham


ANTEDOOM II, Tarahane Azad, Tehran (solo)

Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj, Sharjah


Binary Is A False Idol, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo (solo)

Complicity, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait


Before History, Abraaj Group Art Prize, Dubai, UAE

Wie Wir Leben, Kunsthaus Wien


Act & Application, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai


Spectral Days, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo (solo)


When It Stops Dripping From The Ceiling, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris


I am Glad that Things Have Changed, 98weeks Project Space, Beirut (solo)


Why Not Bazar, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara (solo)


Whenever It Starts, It Is The Right Time. Strategies for A Discontinuous Future, Frankfurter Kunstverein


Oh, No, No... – The Crystal Series, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg (solo)

Rainbow, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut


J’en Rêve, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris


Oh, no, no... – The Crystal Series, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (solo)