Gypsum Gallery is showing the work of three multidisciplinary artists, Ahmed Badry, Taha Belal and
Setareh Shahbazi. The artists work through different processes of visual and functional manipulation
that tend to produce entirely new forms of their original subject objects.
Setareh Shahbazi’s projects often begin with photographs: images from private collections,
snapshots taken by the artist, family photos, film stills, postcards and newspaper clippings. The
outcome seldom resembles the source material. Using digital manipulation, she breaks down images
into visual components, and seamlessly reorders what she extracts into new compositions that are
both familiar and strange.
Ahmed Badry’s series, The Provisionary That Lasts, is an accumulation of five years of research and
observation. The artist makes use of impractical scales and materials to rebuild bodies of everyday
instruments. Using found images as models or his own design, he combines the assumed functions
of some and erases those of others, in reference to a culture of improvised troubleshooting. The
works on display are 3D printed sculptures set against a photographic backdrop of another hybrid
object. They act as monuments of thrift, leading to a pattern of language that could exist outside of
the prevailing economic conditions.
Taha Belal attempts to subvert the glib authority and pervasiveness of common, mass-produced,
disposable objects, highlighting their constructedness. Currently, Belal is mining the bureaucratic
debris from his day job at the family business where he is engulfed in an abundance of papers, tinted
glass, plastic laminates, advertising matter, faux wood paneling and sticky, pleather roller chairs
under a pervasive whitish blue fluorescent lighting. Belal’s labor-intensive interventions manipulate
the images with delicate cutouts and small scale gradient layering.