Abbas Kowsari at The Wapping Project Bankside
13th January – 28th February 2015
The Wapping Project Bankside is presenting a selected body of work by Abbas Kowsari (Tehran, 1970). For Kowsari, photography is an enduring source of power and a way of talking to the world. He has worked for a number of leading Iranian newspapers. Internationally he has been published in the New York Times, Time magazine, Paris Match and Der Spiegel amongst others. He currently works as the senior photo editor for Shargh newspaper in Tehran.
The exhibition at the Wapping Project Bankside, representing several series over the period 2006-2012, offers a rare opportunity to move to a place beyond cliché; a moment to forget the stereotypical images of Iran. Kowsari’s photography reflects the reality of modern Iranian society, whether it is dealing with the aftermath of conflict, being constrained by gender inequality, addressing notions of masculinity or confronting the raw elements of this exceptional country – water, earth, light.
Kowsari’s work pulls between the poles of documentary photography and fine art – his saturated colours, delicate washes, and refined emotional content intertwined with his wry commentaries, and distanced characters play out scenes like actors caught in a Brechtian drama.
Abbas Kowsari was shortlisted for ‘Earth’, the second cycle of the Prix Pictet. Currently his work is also displayed in the group exhibition Burnt Generation – curated by Candlestar director Fariba Farshad – at The Founders’ Gallery – The Military Museums of Calgary, Canada.