During the post-revolutionary period, new art communities formed across the Iranian diaspora. The feelings of duality and multinationalism between the past and present largely influenced Iranian artists, not only in Iran, but across the globe. The notion of 'Crossing Borders' and blurring the lines between identity and nationality prompts ideas being expressed artistically around the world. This exhibition is to be held in Los Angeles, California. Southern California has become a famous diasporic region for Iranian immigrants. Partially, for its stark contrast to post-revolutionary life back in Iran, but mostly due to its' secular, multi-racial, unconventional liberal culture. Presenting such an exhibition in the heart of Westwood, Los Angeles (also known as "Tehrangeles") is crucial to its relevance and reception. Many Iranian artists that immigrated to the United States find that they can freely express themselves. Other artists include those "Iranian-Americans" that may have either been born in the United States or immigrated at an early age. The multiplicity and varied backgrounds behind these Iranian diasporic artist's come together under this exhibition which aims to tie them together under a similar theme. The concept of "movement" "travel" "walking" "fleeing". The exhibition will open up discussions regarding the Iranian or Iranian-American identity in today's world through these wondrous and passionate works of art that surmise the growing Iranian Contemporary Art movement.
Curated by Tory Talayi
Hamid Keshmirshekan, Contemporary Iranian Art: New Perspectives (Saqi Books, 2004).
Heroes Martyrs Legends
2009, 6 mm faceted plastic beads, steel, thread, Variable installation, 12 beaded curtains, 64 x 41 cm each
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian visual artist who lives in New York City, known primarily for her work in film, video and photography. Her artwork centers on the contrasts between Islam and the West, femininity and masculinity, public life and private life, antiquity and modernity, and bridging the spaces between these subjects.
The Persian script is turned into an ornament. Covering the white walls of the museums, the characters serve Forouhar as “paper” for her own text. The room becomes a “written room”. Whereas the white walls of the gallery room are raised to a universal norm and an unmarked instance, the Oriental ornament stands for difference or the deviating.
Longing belonging, 1997, colour positive print, 99 x 99cm (photograph by Rick Martin)
Grounds for Standing and Understanding (2012) is an installation that utilizes the design elements and intricate patterns of a Persian carpet as a foundation to literally “draw up” and transform into three-dimensional scale models that resemble architectural mega-towers. These sculptural forms recall some early modernist architectural styles such as Brutalism, Russian Constructivism and Art Deco, as well as, referencing buildings recently constructed in parts of Asia and the Middle East.
Migrating Identities (2013) guided by their ability to move fluidly between cultures, and drawing from the uniqueness of their individual journeys, these artists reveal the ways in which their identities have been transformed by the confluence of mobility, cultural retention, and personal history. Their art is evidence of the ever-changing experience of immigration, which eschews conventional narratives focused on socio-economic status, cultural negotiation, and assimilation.
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