Following an intensive period of residency at Grand Union and the surrounding area of Digbeth in summer 2015, Grand Union is delighted to present a two-part solo exhibition of new work by Mitra Saboury.
Based between London and Los Angeles, Saboury uses her body as a sensual and sentient research tool to explore the architectural contexts of domestic and urban space. With a background in neuroscience, her practice considers the physical and psychological impacts of space upon the body. Her work across a range of media including sculpture, video, photography and performance probes aspects of interior and exterior space that are usually overlooked, making works that are frequently playful and sometimes uncomfortable.
For her exhibition at Grand Union, Saboury will transform the gallery through significant material intervention. Concrete, a ubiquitous material but one synonymous with the architecture and infrastructure of Birmingham, will feature as both the subject of video works, including a selection from the artist’s Cavities series (2015) made during her residency, and in the sculptural contexts of their display. Softer materials including velvet push along the harsh concrete, while more visceral substances imprint sculptural marks from the artist’s body directly upon the gallery’s surface, suggesting exchanges between body, material, object and structure.
Saboury’s new work is rooted in the physical fabric and changing industrial, commercial, domestic and creative uses of buildings situated within Digbeth, a semi-industrial area soon to be greatly affected by plans for the development of the High Speed Two (HS2) train line. Her newly commissioned sculpture and video works renegotiate the social and political relationships between a building’s surface, shell and core, and the narratives and histories embedded in its layers. Her work proposes possibilities for the reclamation of space by the body.
Alongside her exhibition at Grand Union, a selection of new and existing video works by Saboury will be screened at Eastside’s Millennium Point in its Atrium. These will be dramatically shown on a screen measuring 12m x 7m and on smaller monitors from 5 September – 4 November, shown intermittently throughout the day.
Pulling Walls is the first solo exhibition of Saboury’s work to be presented outside of the USA and is curated by Birmingham-based curator Anneka French.