Forbidden Love: Babak Kazemi

19 February - 16 March 2021

Galerie Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar is pleased to present ‘Forbidden Love’ an exhibition of photographic works by Iranian artist Babak Kazemi, on view from February 19 through March 16, 2021. 


The works on display are part of the artist’s ongoing Captives series which speak about the enclosure of the people in Iran. In this body of works, Kazemi’s landscapes are captured in the capital city of Tehran showing strangled and abandoned trees as a result of the exaggerated urban expansion currently in place, drawing a parallel between these trees and the people of Iran who are suffering in similar ways, while the urban expansion and unexpected guests invade people’s privacy. 

Via these landscapes, Kazemi portrays an enormous land that has been occupied by unexpected guests transforming the country into a vast prison for its people. A prison made for those who want to live a life of love and compassion but instead are captured and put away, continuing to promote suffering which has been deeply installed in the souls and bodies of the Iranian people.

Each original work from the Captives series have been created using antique methods of photography and printed via gum print technique. Babak Kazemi was the winner of the Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar Award entitled FUTURE.IRAN. in 2017. He has held art residencies at the Beirut Art Residency and Delfina Foundation.


Babak Kazemi (b. 1983, Ahvaz, Iran) lives and works in Karaj, Iran. Kazemi's work have been shown extensively in Iran including the Silk Road gallery and Homa Art Gallery as well as internationally at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, U.S.A., and the Museum of Art in Sharjah, U.A.E. Kazemi’s works are in the collections of TMOCA, the Museum of War in Tehran, Iran, as well as numerous notable private collections.