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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
3 Jun 22until28 Aug 22

Abbas Akhavan

cast for a folly

B.C. Binning and Alvin Balkind Galleries

Abbas Akhavan, cast for a folly (installation detail), 2019, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Photo: Johnna Arnold. Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.

The work of Abbas Akhavan takes shape across a range of media and forms. From sculpture and installation to drawing, performance and video, Akhavan’s practice is anchored deeply in the specificities of the sites and spaces he engages. Often open-ended, ephemeral or mimetic in nature, Akhavan’s works frequently traffic in slippages and transferences — between public and private, presence and absence, structural and symbolic.

At the Contemporary Art Gallery, Akhavan presents cast for a folly (2019/2022), an installation that takes as its point of departure a photograph of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad: an image of the museum’s lobby taken following its unprecedented looting during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Through sculpture, custom-fabricated furniture and found objects, amongst other forms, Akhavan recreates this scene in the gallery from the single vantage point of his source image. Adjacent to this installation is a new work composed of flower fridges — untitled (2022) — a continuation of Akhavan’s ongoing engagement with plant life as both index to and instrument of broader social economies.

cast for a folly (2019/2022) was originally curated by Kim Nguyen and commissioned by CCA Wattis Institute.


Abbas Akhavan lives and works in Montréal. Recent solo exhibitions include Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute (2022), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2021); CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2019); Fogo Island Gallery, Fogo Island, (2019); and VIE D'ANGE, Montréal (2018). Group exhibitions include Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2022); Momenta Biennale at Phi Foundation, Montreal (2021); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2018); SALT Galata, Istanbul (2017); Sharjah Biennial 13, United Arab Emirates (2017); and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016). He is the recipient of the Fellbach Triennial Award (2017); Sobey Art Award (2015); Abraaj Group Art Prize (2014); and the Berliner Kunstpreis (2012).