Gypsum presents the work of three artists: Setareh Shahbazi, Ahmed Badry and Taha Belal. Setareh Shahbazi’s practice defies categorization. Her projects often begin with photographs: images from private collections, snapshots taken by the artist, family photos, film stills, postcards and newspaper clippings but the out- come 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 at once familiar and strange. Muddling our sense of time and place, Shahbazi’s work suggests the possibility of infinite narrative variations.
Ahmed Badry’s body of sculptures and drawings act as a proposition for objects that strive to recover usefulness. The artist makes use of impractical scales and non-durable materials to rebuild bodies of everyday instruments. Using found images as models or his own design, he com- bines the assumed functions of some and erases those of others, in reference to a culture of improvised troubleshooting. The objects act as monuments of thrift, leading to a pattern of language that could exist outside of the prevailing economic conditions.
Taha Belal’s practice is labor-intensive, delicate and spectral. He attempts to subvert the glib authority and pervasiveness of common, mass-produced, disposable objects, highlighting their constructedness. An alteration in the familiar book object can act a destructive formal investigation of the language and images exchanged in our daily life and how they can come to exist and be seen as more than one thing at once. Belal conflates the daily life of an office job with an art practice that draws from the detail of visual and physical cues surrounding him. Through acts of erasure and layering, he explores the dimensionality of these objects and signifiers to emphasize an effect of alienation.