Shirana Shahbazi, Raum-Streifen-01 (Room-Stripes-01), 2017, C-print, 23 7/8 x 19 7/8".

Shirana Shahbazi

Galerie Peter Kilchmann

Shirana Shahbazi, Raum-Streifen-01 (Room-Stripes-01), 2017, C-print, 23 7/8 x 19 7/8".

At first sight, this latest exhibition of Shirana Shahbazi’s photography seemed to present merely a highly polished version of the eclectic screen aesthetic that characterizes a lot of contemporary photography. Her work might appear to allude to 1960s Op art, psychedelia, found photography, and documentary, all laid out in a manner so clean as to seem forensic. But a second, slower take showed that there is no system of reference at the center of her work. Not only is the subject matter of her photography somehow incidental, but so are any apparent historical citations. For Shahbazi, photography is an optical art, not an information science—more photo, less graph. Her photographs are not images (of what is not there); they are not even commentaries on images—rather they are things, the mirror polish of their aluminum frames only serving to affirm this reading. Shahbazi’s

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