In his work, Falapishi employs a seemingly humorous cast of characters - humans, cats, mice, and other animals, to enact a meditation on themes of displacement, alienation, and entrapment. His large-scale photographic works play on photography’s traditional role to reflect the society in which they were made, as well as the technical virtuosity that typically accompanies the medium. Rather than using photography as a direct document, he creates unique works that are the product of private in the darkroom in which Falapishi manipulates the surface of photosensitive paper with flashlights and direct exposure to light. Cartoonish in appearance, his compositions reflect not a process of deskilling, but are instead the results of the constraints of darkness, and the limitations of his own body. Falapishi’s characters are placed within seemingly generic architectural environments, such as houses, fences, or other barriers, the figures’ interactions quickly take on resonance with familiar social hierarchies - the power structures within society, ideas of ownership and residence, and inside versus outside. These figures appear to revel in their own personal vices, confusing the morality implied by the traditional roles they assume. Often engaging in a tongue-in-cheek violence, which carries over to Falapishi’s sculptural and installation-based works, his characters reflect how tenuous and fragile the familiar structures of our society can be, and a shared fear of isolation.
Hadi Falapishi (b. 1987) lives and works in New York. In 2022, CCA Goldsmith’s London presented the first institutional exhibition of Falapishi’s work in Europe, As Free As Birds. Additionally, In 2022, Power Station, Dallas presented the solo exhibition Young and Clueless. Falapishi’s work was recently included in the 2022 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, Greater New York 2021, MoMA PS1, New York, 100 Drawings from Now at The Drawing Center, New York, 2020, In Practice: Total Disbelief, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, 2020, and Open Call, The Shed, New York, 2019. Falapishi received his MFA in Photography from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2016. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and MoCA, Los Angeles.