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Where are we going? All of us, everyday; this is the question we are posing ourselves. Where is Art going? Carbon 12 proudly presents “Forward/Vorwärts”, a group exhibition featuring works by André Butzer, James Clar, Ghazel, Philip Mueller, Sara Rahbar, Anahita Razmi, and Ralf Ziervogel hosted by Q Contemporary, for the first time in Beirut, Lebanon.

The highly idiosyncratic approach of each artist gives us more than just insights into contemporary artistic practices, it’s an impulse to radically reconfigure the role of the artist in today’s society: the artist as an alchemist, the artist as a catalyst, and the artist as a prophet. Their common denominator is the vibrant oscillation between the absolute and particular in terms of content and style, which results in extremely focused works that stir up a vibrant mix of contemplation and agitation. Deeply rooted in the heritage of their respective tools of trade, boundless in imagination and furious intent, is what unifies the selected artists.

These artistic positions will survive turmoil, cataclysm, salvation, and maybe even the end of the world as we know it. In 2012 there is no turning back. This is Forward/Vorwärts.

Sara Rahbar, the New York-based Iranian artist (born 1976) whose largely autobiographical work ranges from photography to installation to sculpture has gained an important international recognition in the past years. Her works are included in many collections worldwide, such as Centre Pompidou, the Burger Collection, the Saatchi Collection, Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Devi Art Foundation.

Ghazel, the Paris-based Iranian artist (born 1966) is one of the pioneers of Iranian video and performance art. Ghazel’s art often concerns the role of women in contemporary society and the juxtaposition between East and West. Her works are in highly renowned collections such as the MUMOK in Vienna and Centre Pompidou.

Philip Mueller, the Austrian artist (born 1988) seeks to push boundaries in his expressive body of work, which comprises paintings and installations. Through his unique style, Mueller evokes a cutting-edge world of myths and allegories. He is also one of the youngest artists to be included in the permanent collection of the prestigious Belvedere Museum in Vienna.

James Clar, the US artist (born 1979) is a mixed-media artist who fuses technology, popular culture, and visual information. The manipulation of light is a recurring theme in his body of work. His works have been exhibited worldwide.

Ralf Ziervogel, the German artist (born 1975) uses meticulously detailed drawings comprised of very fine black lines on paper, to exploit the limits of the human body. His works are included in the MoMA, New York.

Anahita Razmi, the German artist (born 1981) is a video and performance artist whose work often deals with issues concerning identity, gender or the appropriation of the work of high-profile female artists. She is also the winner of the 2011 Emdash Award.

André Butzer, the German artist (born 1973) counts as one of today’s most relevant European artists of his generation, in painting. He is known for his abstract works. His paintings have been exhibited worldwide and are included in various important collections, such as the Saatchi Collection, the Rubell Family Collection and the Taschen Collection, just to name few.

Carbon 12, was established in 2008, with the aim to introduce and support international contemporary artists in the Middle-East. Located in Dubai’s industrial area of Al Quoz, which is rapidly becoming a significant hub of contemporary art in the region, Carbon 12’s focus is to promote an emerging artist program, as well as representing well established international artists. Since 2008, Carbon 12 has held over 25 exhibitions, accompanied by exhibition catalogues and publications.


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