January 18 - february 24, 2019

opening Friday, january 18, 6:30-9:30pm 

The Chimney is pleased to present “In Absentia, In Effigie”, a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based Iranian artist Shahrzad Changalvaee. Inside the gallery, visitors are invited to meander around a pond to discover floating images and fragments of lost stories within the multiple quadrants. Overlooking the undulating reservoir, a printer produces new images throughout the exhibition.

The Chimney is transformed into a landscape - one that simultaneously evokes familiarity and intimacy, distance and the uncanny, local and popular views as well as left-out visions that the artist closely remembers. Changalvaee accumulates found images and places them alongside her personal photographs to re-link and cure internet fluxes, personal experiences and local stories. Images from different histories, events, and cultures coexist within an abstract framing to challenge established narratives and one’s alienation towards media, information and knowledge. Hands and bodies of authorities are juxtaposed with chaotic urban events, bricks, sunset skies, tools, studio material and historical illustrations. Political glimpses of protestors, artists, workers intermingle with Iranian folkloric imagery, drawings and nature’s landscape. Persian typography lies next to decontextualized English sentences. “Fix this problem” reads a forgotten note – an urgent request that has however lost its original narrative.

By working with specific details, Changalvaee reclaims authority over information and memory, and attempts to reveal within viewers impressions that evade words’ marginalizing effect. Within the stream of water, these images, whether historical, personal, imaginary, are all summoned to the same space, sitting on the same page. These drifting images land in the stream of water with a sincere intention of ‘making’ while inevitably adding to the addling reservoir.

These visual stories are constructed by the uncontrollable and unpredictable element of water and remain subject to an inexorable factor: motion. Where fiction meets history, various systems coalesce, movement sculpts narratives and simultaneously splinters them within a perpetual flow.


Shahrzad Changalvaee (b.1983) is a visual artist.

Her practice responses to the discipline of sculpture in variety of media, including objectmaking, photography, digital video, installation and performance.

Raised in Tehran, Iran, Shahrzad received her BA from Tehran University Faculty of Fine Arts in 2006, and her MFA from Yale School of Art 2015. Shahrzad’s work has been featured in several solo and group exhibition including, “The Understandables Always Arrive From Far Away” (2018) at Soho20, Brooklyn, “You Cannot The Same River Twice” (2016) at O Gal-lery, Tehran, Iran; "Ksi, Ein and An, A love Story"(2015), VSC Gallery, SVA (School of Visual Arts), New York, USA; “Future Remnants of a Missing Word” (2016), Meyohas Gallery, New York, USA; and numbers of group shows in Iran, UAE, Britain, Canada and The U.S.

Shahrzad is currently based in Brooklyn.


WWD, Shahrzad Changalvaee Floats Her Work at The Chimney. Kristen Tauer, January 24, 2019.

Bklyner, Shahrzad Changalvaee Shares Lost Stories At Bushwick Gallery. Zainab Iqbal, February 14, 2019