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Abbas Zahedi Wins 2022 Frieze Artist Award

Abbas Zahedi, Ouranophobia SW3 (2020). Exhibition view. Image courtesy the artist + General Release, London

London-born installation artist Abbas Zahedi has been named the winner of the 2022 Frieze Artist Award. His Waiting With {Sonic Support} will occupy a spot near the entrance of Frieze London, to be held October 12–16 in Regent’s Park alongside Frieze Masters. The work, a wooden construction recalling a bus shelter, will be home to a series of live activations that will be broadcast via “DIY radio” online and within the fair. Frieze organizers noted that “the commission builds upon Zahedi’s long-standing interest in borders, thresholds and how things can move within systems or networks.”

The thirty-eight-year-old Zahedi is an associate artist at London’s Barbican Centre. He originally studied medicine at University College London before completing MA in Contemporary Photography at Central Saint Martins in 2019. A 2019–20 residency at the South London Gallery followed, during which he created How to Make a How from a Why?, an installation and sound work called that was acquired by Tate in 2021.

The Frieze Artist Award was established in 2013 and for the past four years has been awarded in partnership with Forma, a London-based contemporary arts organization. Past winners include Himali Singh Soin (2019), Alberta Whittle (2020), and Sung Tieu (2021). This year’s applicants were asked consider sustainability in relation to their work and its installation. To create his prizewinning installation, Zahedi will rely on reusable and sustainably sourced materials and will focus on a minimally disruptive installation process.

Chris Rawcliffe, Forma’s artistic director, said that artists competing for the prize had been charged with creating “time-based works across video, performance and audio.” Rawcliffe asserted that Zahedi’s Waiting With {Sonic Support} “sits perfectly at the intersection of these different art forms, creating a space of communion, collaboration and exchange.”

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