Shahpour Pouyan | "PTSD"

17 March - 22 April 2014

Lawrie Shabibi is proud to announce Shahpour Pouyan: PTSD, his second solo exhibition at Lawrie Shabibi, consisting of new sculptures and drawings and curated by Murtaza Vali.  Pouyan's first foray into ceramics, an ancient material and technique of artistic production, this body of work draws inspiration from the fact that working with ceramics is a commonly prescribed therapeutic tool for those struggling to overcome the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The core of the exhibition will be four discrete sets of typologically related ceramic objects, grouped together and presented on individual tables-playing on the double meaning of table as a structure and surface for both organization and display. The tables will suggest a variety of distinct modes of display employed throughout history up to the current moment, ranging from painted still-lives and scaled down architectural models to displays of recently uncovered ancient artifacts or seized caches of arms or other contraband.


Part of an ongoing investigation into the forms and structures of power and hegemony, Pouyan's past work repeated the phallus-as tower, hoof and missile-as a symbol of the enduring patriarchal structure of society across the Middle East. Though many of the ceramics remain indubitably phallic they are decidedly less monumental and more thing-like in scale, reference and material. And like much of Pouyan's previous work their final forms synthesize his far-ranging knowledge of and research into ancient mythology and religion, and histories of art and architecture, science and technology, and war and conflict. Through repetition and variation of this set of simple but suggestive symbolic forms Pouyan investigates scale and proportion in relation to the ideologies, architectures and structures of possession, domination and destruction, both ancient and modern.