Born in 1983 in Ahvaz, Iran, Babak Kazemi completed his BA degree at Ahvaz Islamic Azad University in graphic design. From a young age, Kazemi became enamoured with photography, describing a darkroom as a thing of magic. Discussing his upbringing, Kazemi describes the area he grew up in South West Iran, a few kilometres away from the first oil well in the Middle East as an area contaminated by the well. Kazemi believes the fumes of the oil well polluted everything around him, seeping into the politics and intrinsic life of his society, he even goes to the extent of believing that he himself is polluted as a result, his mind, his physical body and his spirit. As a result he aims to capture and depict this pollution in his work. He does this by affecting the physicality of his images with oil, pouring oil over images of soldiers and sceneries, allowing them to slowly decay and burn under its affects.
Kazemi states that for him, photographs are simultaneously visual studies and physical actions. Starting as simple diary like daily documentations of things that occurred around him, Kazemi evolved his use of photography by merging it physically with other mediums, such as oil and also turning them into motion pictures.
Kazemi’s work has already achieved international widespread recognition across galleries and institutions.
Selected solo exhibitions in Tehran, Iran:
2010 Suggestion to Group 5+1 - Homa Gallery
2008 Past Participle - Silkroak Gallery
2007 Cow's Mentality - Silkroad Gallery
2007 Women - Mehrva Gallery
2006 Cow's Mentality Documentary - Mah e Mehr Gallery
2005 H2S - Mehrva Gallery