Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Siba Sahabi turns camera obscura inside out.

Siba Sahabi launches her new limited edition photographic sculptures, ’Obscura’, at X BANK gallery in Amsterdam. The photographic collages on the surface of each object were previously captured inside the same shape using the principles of a pinhole camera, also known as a camera obscura. The nine sculptures are made out of steel, copper and brass and were treated, on their interior surfaces, with a light sensitive emulsion. Siba then exposed these surfaces to light through three to six pinholes per object and developed the black and white images in a darkroom. After coating the photographs with resin each camera obscura was fnally re-assembled with the photographs facing outwards. The fnal sculptures simultaneously embody both states: apparatus and work of art.

Siba’s cameras—taking the form of abstract pyramids—express the interaction between Middle Eastern and European culture through art and science. Her work is an homage to the scientist and philosopher Alhazen, who lived and worked in Cairo about 1000 years ago, and is considered to be the father of optics. Alhazen made signifcant contributions to the principles of optics and visual perception based on his observations of the camera obscura, his metaphor for human perception. His knowledge had a tremendous influence on European art history, particularly on the revolutionary linear perspective. The Italian Renaissance artists frst had to understand how the human eye perceives a three-dimensional image before they could create a precise representation of it on a two-dimensional surface. Following Alhazen’s footsteps, Siba spent four weeks in Egypt photographing modern-day Cairo.

The launch of ‘Obscura’ in Amsterdam is a way to connect the Middle East to Europe. The sculptures create a form of double exposure: showing the photographs of Cairo and—due to the shiny resin coating—reflecting the European surroundings. A specially-commissioned documentation of ‘Obscura’, made by Chris Rijksen, is screened parallel to the exhibition. The flm is shot in Amsterdam and Cairo and captures Siba’s process of creation. You can watch the flm via this link: http://www.sibasahabi.com/Behind-The-Scenes

‘Obscura’ is exhibited at X BANK gallery, Amsterdam from 01 – 22 September 2017.

Siba Sahabi

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×

Photographer: Thomas Aangeenbrug

Obscura by Siba Sahabi | Prototypes ×