‘Study for a Garden’ (2012) A site-specific installation at the Delfina Foundation,London, UK.
Born in Tehran, Abbas Akhavan currently lives and works in Toronto. His practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance. For the past five years, the domestic sphere has been an ongoing area of research in Akhavan’s work. Earlier works explore the relationship between the house and the nation state and how the trauma of systemic violence enacted upon civilians can be inherited and re-enacted within the family lineage – the home as a forked space between hospitality and hostility. More recent work has shifted focus onto spaces just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.
Akhavan’s work has been exhibited in spaces including Vancouver Art Gallery, Artspeak (Canada), ABC Art Berlin Contemporary, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Germany), Kunsten Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), Le Printemps de septembre a Toulouse (France), Performa 11 (USA), and The Third Line (Dubai & Doha). Recent and upcoming residencies include Fundation Marcelino Botin (Spain), Axeno7, Video In, TSV, and Fogo Islands (Canada), Watermill Centre (USA), and The Delfina Foundation (Dubai, UAE & London, UK). Currently Akhavan is preparing for a group showat the Belvedere Museum (Austria), with upcoming solo exhibitions at the Darling Foundry, Peel Art Gallery (Canada) and the Delfina Foundation (UK).