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Carbon 12

Private Gallery
TIME OUT DUBAI, Preview By Chris Lord
  Seven Positions

If you bore witness to the sheer scale of Carbon 12’s inaugural Sneak Peek when it opened back in December, then a few of the names in this (again vast) group show will be familiar. Farzan Sadjadi’s grim, Goya-infused style caught our eye. Having been through the mill of national service in his native Iran Sadjadi reflects on the abysmal pointlessness of the military, as he experienced it. He paints dramatic, almost elemental scenes of destruction. Often devoid of people, his war is a grim skirmish between tanks and harassed horses only.

While Sneak Peek was an overview of what Carbon 12 planned to unleash on Dubai in the coming year, the seven artists in this show fall more into the emerging category of the gallery’s roster. With Mathias Garnitschnig, Omid Massoumi, Philip Mueller, Alessa Esteban and Bernhard Garnicnig, also featuring, look out for Florian Hafele’s small and intricate sculptures of people. Figures float, dance; tie themselves into obscure and surreal knots that capture a kinetic burst of compounded acrylic. Faceless and whitened to an artificial hue, Hafele’s characters appear as detached entities subsumed in some empty, but ritualised social dance.

From what we’ve seen, there’s no doubt that these are the gallery’s emerging artists but, collectively, there is something energised about this show. We’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: you have to hand it to Carbon 12 for pulling in the very different into this art scene and offering a healthy slap of diversity. An insight into what some of central Europe’s (and even some of Iran’s) avant-garde ateliers are pumping out at the moment. Recommended.
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