Sanam Khatibi’s tapestries, sculptures and paintings explore power relationships through an investigation of violence, engagement and sensuality across human and animal species. Khatibi’s playful works are rife with humour, mythological resonances and antagonism; she is attuned to the ambivalent potential in human and animal behaviour, wherein cruelty becomes care, humans become bestial, and dominance becomes submission. At the Istanbul Biennial, a new tapestry depicts the fraught relationship between nude figures in a natural setting, while a new painting is accompanied by archaeological stones and ceramic sculptures that point to a speculative archaeology of human-animal relations.

Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979, Tehran, Iran) lives in Brussels. Her works deal with animality, and our primal impulses and the core of her practice interrogates our relationship to power structures. She questions our relation to excess, loss of control, bestiality, domination and submission. She plays with ambivalence to juxtapose dualities such as animal versus human, past versus present, and cruelty versus seduction. Her work consists of paintings, embroideries, tapestries, sculptures and installations. Recent solo exhibitions include De ta salive qui mord, BPS22, Charleroi (2019); The Murders of the Green River, rodolphe janssen, Brussels (2019); No church in the wild, The Cabin, Los Angeles (2017). Group exhibitions include Salon de peinture, M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Antwerp (2019); Nightfall, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2019); Mademoiselle, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporaine Occitaine, Sète (2018).

EXHIBITED WORKS

I dreamed I stabbed you in the eye, 2019 Hand-woven wool tapestry
220 × 260 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial. Presented with the support of Flanders State of the Art.

Noon on a hot summer day, 2019 Oil and pencil on canvas
30 × 40 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial. Presented with the support of Flanders State of the Art.

For the Ruby of their Voluptuous Lips, 2019 Ceramic
46.5 × 14.5 × 4 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial. Presented with the support of Flanders State of the Art.

You Must Remain at Your Posts, 2019 Ceramic 31.5 × 18 × 16 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen.
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial. Presented with the support of Flanders State of the Art.

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