Mashrabiya invites us to question the public accessibility of museums like MOCA through modes of open and obscured visibility. Offering a play on Islamic window screens, which permit views from inside out but not from outside in, this piece stands as an observation deck and a confessional; some visitors become observers, some are observed, but they cannot assume both roles at once.
Broken Circle combines Avarzamani’s interest in play and power dynamics. Envisioned as a game board, viewers are challenged to spin tops—the player who keeps their top upright the longest wins. But these game pieces are misshapen and might not ever spin. Using a digital rendering programme, she has altered their forms by including the shapes of their shadows. Treated in a black finish and laid out on a playing surface, their skewed postures challenge our perceptions of where the objects end and the shadows begin. Broken Circle is a symbolic exploration of how perspective can shift our understanding of reality. These augmented spinning tops carry our current sense of anxiety and imbalance—each new contour or bulge a sign of power games in life and politics, alluding to a world off-kilter and struggling to remain in a steady motion.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani (born 1979 in Tehran) holds an MFA from Central Saint Martins and has presented solo exhibitions at the Koffler Gallery, Toronto; Ab-Anbar Gallery, Tehran; Asia House, London; and Light Gallery, London. Avarzamani has been or will be artist-in-residence at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; the Delfina Foundation, London; and the Banff Arts Center, Banff and is the 2019 winner of the award for best monographic exhibition from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s projects are part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022.
WORK IN GTA21:
Broken Circle, 2021
Courtesy Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal and Toronto.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s practice draws on elements of art, design, architecture and placemaking. For GTA21, Avarzamani has developed two new artworks in dialogue— Broken Circle and Mashrabiya.