For fetishists of the archive with a capital A, Shahbazi has committed the gravest of sins, estranging these „originals“ from their roots by hurling them into other, distant places. lf it‘s true that taking photographs ruins the workings of one‘s memory, „Spectral Days“ seems to point to a world in which memories, in turn, leave their marks on photographs as physical traces. Could this possibly make them more true? Could the hazy enigmatic workings of the subconscious leave fingerprints - the antidote to Roland Barthes‘ argument that a photograph is a mad image, chafed by reality?
Negar Azimi, review of Spectral Days at Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, Frieze Magazine, March 2013
A series of 41 montages C-prints and pigmented ink prints, partly framed Dimensions 85x60cm, 63x45cm, 36x25cm and 28x20cm.
The work is accompanied by the artist book Spectral Days
Spectral Days is a deeply personal project that delves into a loaded family history. It conjures up memories of Shahbazi and her family’s exile from Iran following the revolution. It is an introspective look into the past that started in 2009 when Shahbazi began her forage into thousands of family photographs retrieved from her home in Tehran.