Pooya Abbasian at the MEP Studio

For the second part of the Season, the MEP Studio is proud to present the work of Paris-based Iranian artist Pooya Abbasian. His exhibition Maltournée runs from 11 April to 26 May 2024.

In a practice that encompasses photography, video, drawing and installation, the artist explores the complex and often paradoxical relationship between images and our notions of reality and truth. Although it is not explicitly his main theme, his work is informed by his childhood in Iran and his migration to Europe at the age of 26.

The centrepiece of the Maltournée exhibition is the short film of the same name. The film depicts a missed opportunity to engage with a community of refugees and asylum-seekers living along the Saint-Denis canal, near the Stade de France, who were abruptly evacuated by the police and disappeared. Abbasian poetically documents their traces, evoking the emotions, situations, and objects that once filled this no-man’s-land; through the use of tracking shots, dialogue, and voice-over, the artist captures the intense presence of their absence. The film was produced with the support of the Wim Wenders Foundation as part of a project in which six Iranian filmmakers, mentored by Wenders, explored the theme “A Sense of Place” in Iran or in exile.

The exhibition also includes a recent series of never-before-seen photographs that explore the notions of transition, silence, and emptiness.


Pooya Abbasian, born in 1985, is an Iranian artist based in Paris since 2011. A long-time collaborator of Iranian director Jafar Panahi, he has screened his films in numerous art spaces and film festivals, including the Pejman Foundation, the CPH-DOX Dokumentary Filmfestival Copenhagen, the Pictoplasma Festival Berlin, and the BelDocs Festival in Belgrade. Abbasian’s work is in the collection of the CNAP (French National Contemporary Art Collection) and has been shown in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, le Plateau Frac-Île de France, the Grande halle de la Villette, Poush, and the Association La Source-La Guéroulde. An illustrator and author since 2016, he has also written and illustrated several children’s books published by Gallimard and Actes Sud. He is currently part of the artist residency programme 2023-2024 at the Fondation Fiminco.

Image from the film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

© Pooya Abbasian

Image tirée du film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

Image tirée du film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

Image tirée du film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

Image tirée du film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

Image tirée du film Maltournée © Pooya Abbasian

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The exhibition is organised with the support of