Abbas Akhavan

Abbas Akhavan


March 19 - May 5, 2018

Abbas Akhavan _recently _2018_The Third Line _Installation View _1

Abbas Akhavan

Study for a Curtain

March 16 - April 18, 2015

Abbas Akhavan, Study for a Curtain, 2015, detail from installation at The Third Line

Abbas Akhavan

Study for a Curtain is a continuation of Abbas Akhavan's ongoing exploration of gardens and domesticated landscapes.

Abbas Akhavan’s practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video, sculpture and performance. The direction of his research has been deeply influenced by the specificity of the sites where he works: the architectures that house them, the economies that surround them, and the people that frequent them. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in Abbas' practice. Recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces and species just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.

Main Space: Ala Ebtekar - Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \

I Will See It, When I Believe It

I Will See It, When I Believe It

May 15 - July 27, 2019

I Will See It, When I Believe It, 2019, The Third Line, exhibition poster, 59.4 cm x 84.1 cm, offset print

Abbas Akhavan

Art Basel 2015

June 18 - 21, 2015

Abbas Akhavan, Study for a Monument (detail), 2015, Cast bronze, cotton fabric dimensions variable. Photo: Nikolaus Steglich, Starnberg


Abbas Akhavan - Study for a Monument

The Third Line is very pleased to announce our participation at Art Basel’s Statements sector with Study for a Monument, a solo presentation by Abbas Akhavan. Abbas’ floor-based installation of bronze-cast plants is a continuation of recent works that archive and memorialize native and endemic flora in compromised ecologies.

Building upon previous research, Study for a Monument is a new iteration of bronze cast reproductions of flora native to the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This area, modern-day Iraq, has suffered immensely due to social, political and ecological turmoil over the decades, where warring establishments have contributed to irreparable damage to the topography.

Bronze, traditionally used for weaponry and later as a hardwearing material for monuments, is highlighted here by Abbas as a duplicitous material – one that appears permanent but in fact lacks loyalty as it shape shifts in times of political transition – melted and reformed from one political figure to another. In Study for a Monument, the vertical figure has been replaced by anatomically correct fragmented flora laid out horizontally on white cotton sheets.

By archiving the locale-specific plants and flowers, the artist follows the traditional 19th century practice of scientific taxonomic record-keeping for the colonial-held lands. However, Abbas presents a delicate juxtaposition in the work’s production and presentation – while the material captures the carefully researched botanical species in bronze, the presentation takes them apart in pieces, as if on a dissection tray or confiscated goods, they are shown on the floor – hoping to remodel formal structures of authority and knowledge.


Hassan Hajjaj – Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl
71 minutes, color | produced and directed by Hassan Hajjaj
Stadtkino Basel, Klostergasse 5, Basel

Hassan Hajjaj’s first feature-length film will be making its European debut at the Art Basel Film sector. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Hassan Hajjaj and Maxa Zoller.

Press Release

Group Show


September 12 - October 27, 2011


Artists: Abbas Akhavan, Huda Lutfi, Arwa Abouon, Amir H. Fallah, Fouad Elkoury, Farhad Moshiri, Hassan Hajjaj, Laleh Khorramian, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Youssef Nabil

To begin the fall season, The Third Line invites guest curator Rami Farook to continue a conversation about the state of the world today. Comprising of works from The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection and exhibiting at the two spaces, the show attempts to question and discuss the state of the contemporary environment through artistic representations depicting social behavior, ecology and psychology.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? is inspired by and, a continuation from, previous shows at Traffic also titled ‘the state’. This exhibition resumes a dialogue explored earlier in shows held at Traffic: THE STATE(2010), the inaugural exhibition, questioned the socio-political state post September 11; anTHE STATE: UPPERS & DOWNERS(2011) ran a commentary on the global condition, from an economic perspective, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. This third installment of investigation combines works from the collection of The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection, and is exhibited at both galleries to connect the conversations previously limited to one physical space. 

Group Show

Snail Fever

June 22 - July 28, 2011


Curated by Sara Mameni, this exhibition includes works by Abbas Akhavan, Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid al Gharaballi, Ala Ebtekar, Haris Epaminonda, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Rayyane Tabet, Slavs and Tatars and Newsha Tavakolian.

This exhibition is about music - especially the kind that goes viral. The artists in the show think about music epidemically. They invoke musicians who never die or those who become alive only through death. They present the body of musicians in their absence, in their disembodiments and in their replacements with the curved neck of the gramophone or the magnetic cones of a boombox. They confront us with the fictionality of icons, projecting our own inadequate selves within it.  Music here is made visual, scaled into words and images, haunted by the specter of the voice. 

Abbas Akhavan


May 05 - June 10, 2010


For his first solo exhibition in the region, Akhavan creates a site-specific map of Dubai highlighting monumentous features and recognizable imagery associated with the city. This installation stems from his artistic representation of Dubai which parallels to the city’s accessibility and fragmentation.

Akhavan will work to create an installation including a series of maps painted directly on to a wall within the gallery space. These geographical renditions converge along the lines of mapping and remapping the space, geography and architecture of Dubai as well as its growing art market. The embellished gold wall is then divided much like sectioning a city into parts where collectors are trans- formed to landowners on purchase of a section of themap.

Group Show

Long Distance: Between Location and Emotion

May 31 - July 01, 2007


Artists: Remi Arora, Abbas Akhavan

An interdisciplinary double-bill, this exhibition investigates links between the body and the memory that it carries and is the result of a multi-faceted three-way exchange via e-mail, telephone, mp4 transmission, instant messenger and MySpace, anchored in the notion of correspondence as a means of artistic collaboration. While the respective practices of artists Remi Arora and Abbas Akhavan are quite disparate, common language emerged throughout our conversations with them as they were both drawn to explore the potential for emotional intensity inherent within even the most generic of places. 

Arora's video works are the result of a series of nocturnal stake-outs conducted in front of empty parking lots, abandoned gas stations, strip malls, and motels. 

Akhavan's work blurs the lines between euphoria and anxiety indulging the viewer with a slowed down grandiose series of color splatters that burn the sky, addressing the discomfort our bodies feel confused by identical stimuli loud vibrations, flashing lights etc. that takes us from the bombed streets of Lebanon to a national celebration in Canada.