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Installation Images Exhibited Works Press Release


Mark Shetabi: The Anxious Journey
February 15 – March 28, 2004
Ratio 3, 903 Guerrero, San Francisco, CA 94110

Ratio 3 inaugurates its San Francisco space with Mark Shetabi: The Anxious Journey, on view from February 15 to March 28, 2004.

Mark Shetabi creates installations that investigate the boundary between public and private spaces. In The Anxious Journey, Shetabi has transformed the Ratio3 exhibition space into a sterile hallway, complete with a ceiling, walls, and floor. In this installation, the viewer interacts with three representations of anonymous spaces - painting, sculpture, and architecture - all of which strongly allude to feelings of transience and dislocation.

Shetabi's constructed environments are located behind locked doors within the built space. In order to experience the work, the viewer must approach a door and look through a peephole. In one piece, the viewer can glimpse an emergency exit stairwell that appears to rise and descend seemingly forever. Through another peephole, the viewer sees an empty bedroom filled with light, and a Persian carpet on the ground. Two new oil paintings, one depicting an impossibly tall parking garage, are also on view. By utilizing the peephole lens, Shetabi simultaneously creates a sense of intimacy and distance between the viewer and the artwork.

Born in 1970 in New York, Mark Shetabi lived for five years in Teheran, Iran, returning to the United States in 1979 on the eve of the Iranian Revolution. The experience of being between cultures is an enduring subtext of Shetabi’s artistic practice. The artist currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

He received an M.F.A. in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts, Philadelphia in 1996. He had a recent solo show at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (2003), and was included in Phantom Arch at White Columns, New York City (2003). In 2002 Shetabi was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. This is his first exhibition on the West Coast.

Ratio 3 is an access point for contemporary art based in San Francisco. Recent exhibitions include We Are Electric (Deitch Projects, New York City) and Phantom Arch (White Columns, New York City). Chris Perez is the owner/director of Ratio 3, and previously worked as the curatorial assistant for contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, helping organize BitStreams and the 2002 Biennial Exhibition. Prior to that, he worked at the Wattis Institute (CCA) in San Francisco.

Ratio 3: Bringing vastness to the mind.