Ey! Iran: of Contemporary Iranian Photography in (Exhibition in Australia)
City Art Gallery
30 September – 5 November 2006
Opening event 6pm, Friday October
For many in Australia, our understanding of contemporary
Iran is immediately connected to
images of world conflict and tension.
The perception that it is a culture closed to the west and culturally
isolated is however dramatically changing, and artists and filmmakers have been
at the cutting edge of this shift.
Iran! will be the first exhibition of its kind
to present recent contemporary photography from Iran in a major exhibition in Australia. The
exhibition presents the work of 17 artists working in photo media based either
in Iran or as expatriates who have left
the country and continue to make work that is informed by their Persian
heritage. Artists Hossein Valamanesh, who lives in Adelaide and Sadegh Tirafkan who now lives in Toronto, are just two examples of acclaimed artists who
deal with major issues of identity, gender,
urban life, popular culture and social restrictions within
and outside Iran.
their subtle yet powerful work with its richly layered visual languages, it is
possible to see past the stereotypical images and into the lives and experiences
of ordinary people – their street lives and private lives – contemporary
identities intimately tied to an ancient culture and its traditions.
The art of
photography has developed in parallel with the highly regarded art of film
making in Iran. In the same vein that
contemporary Iranian filmmakers portray their vision of Iran with a
compelling quiet reserve, the work of artists selected for this exhibition
communicates to international audiences with the same subtle boldness.
medium arrived in Iran in the
early 1840s as diplomats from Russia, France, England and Germany brought
the technology to the reigning Shah - whom had a strong personal fascination
with the medium. Historical collections of plates and photographs in
Iran are today a valuable source of
documentation of the lives of Persians in the mid to late 1800s.
early 1900s photography as a medium evolved much in the same way as European and
American artists and collectors approached techniques and experimented with new
found zeal thanks to the innovations with film and portable cameras.
In the mid 1970s
the Tehran Museum of contemporary Art began to acquire significant art works
from around the world but much of the archives and collections were then in
hiatus for the next two decades.
During the 1980s
and much of the 90’s Iranian photography was centered around documentary
photography as regional conflicts such as the Iran Iraq war which lasted eight
years, took centre stage and preoccupied the hearts and minds of those affected
by the war.
galleries such as Silk Road Gallery, alternatives spaces such as Parkingallery
and Azad University’s dedicated space provide much needed
exposure to Iran’s new generation of artists.
Although the manner in which art is marketed and publicised is different and on
a much smaller scale compared to the West; a thriving artblog community and an
innovative approach to DIY spaces promises to spurn on a growing art
Internationally, over the past six
years European audiences have seen numerous group exhibitions of Iranian art
staged by institutions and curators alike and in 2004 American audiences were
introduced to contemporary Iranian photography for the first time with an
exhibition titled Persian Silver touring currently until
Ey! Iran presents an
exciting opportunity for Australian audiences to now view work by artists such
as Bahman Jalali who is one of the more senior artists in the show. His series
Image of Imagination, 2003-2006 spans over a hundred years of history with
references to the Qajar period collection of daguerreotypes of courtesans and
the more recent reactionary responses from a minority of Iran’s
I have been exposed to many images by little known
photographers around the country. Those that I could keep, I have held as
mementos, and others have left their marks on my imagination.” Bahman Jalali
The exhibition has been curated by
Iranian born artist Mandana Mapar. Bridging social and geographical
boundaries in the development of this exhibition she travelled to Tehran to select work and seeks to link artists in
Iran with audiences in
Australia in a spirit of cultural
showing at the Gold Coast the exhibition will go on to tour throughout 2007
& 2008. For details of venues contact the gallery.
The exhibition is a major highlight
of the inaugural Queensland Festival of Photography running throughout
September - October in 2006. 11 of Queensland’s
art institutions come together to deliver a dynamic
series of exhibitions celebrating a diversity of Queensland’s top photo-media artists. The
festival encompasses an engaging public program that includes 11 exhibitions, a
2-day symposium, media projections and intimate artist talks that cater to a
wide range of public interests.
For details of Festival events and
exhibitions go to http://www.qcp.org.au/festival.html
Official Opening Friday October 6 2006 at
refreshments on arrival, then a cash bar will operate.
RSVP acceptances only: 07
5581 6567 by 20 September 2006
be officially opened by Anne Kirker, Freelance
Curator and Writer
CITY ART GALLERY Gold Coast Arts Centre
Surfers Paradise, Queensland Ph: 5581 6567 email@example.com
... Payvand News - 9/21/06 ... --