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Exhibition: Iran Inside Out


Iran Inside Out


Influences of Homeland and Diaspora on the Artistic Language of 56 Contemporary Iranian Artists


Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath


Click here to browse the exhibition catalogue.

Click here to purchase the exhibition catalogue.

Click here to download the press release.


Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell's Puerto Rico Performance Still, Digital C-print 2008 copyright artist and courtesy Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery



The Chelsea Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its upcoming exhibition Iran Inside Out.  The groundbreaking exhibition features 35 artists living and working in Iran alongside 21 others living in the Diaspora. The result is a multifarious portrait of 56 contemporary Iranian artists challenging the conventional perceptions of Iran and Iranian art. 


In Iran Inside Out, 210 works comprising painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation come together, in a rare moment which allows visitors an intimate look into the people, both inside and outside a country that is more complex than images of veiled women, worn out calligraphy and what a handful of other emblematic images would suggest.


Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Iran Inside Out is an examination of the means through which a young generation of artists is reconciling the daily implications of cultural and geographical distances with the search for individual artistic expression. The exhibition offers an unexpected insight into the artistic energy of a culture that is constantly evolving as Iranians living both in and out of the country, come of age living and working in contentious societies.  While half of these artists such as Vahid Sharifian, Barbad Golshiri, Farideh Lashai and Jinoos Taghizadeh reside in Iran, the other half including artists such as Shirin Neshat, Shahram Entekhabi, Mitra Tabrizian and Shoja Azari has been interspersed in the Diaspora. 


Iran Inside Out explores the process of deconstruction and reinvention of both, self and art that has resulted from this cultural schism, often swinging between openness and dialogue, or seclusion and separatism. Ironically, contrary to one's expectations, the artists living abroad often draw more on their cultural heritage, while those on the inside focus more on issues of everyday life without much regard to what 'the outside' views as specifically Iranian references. Yet, within these disparities, one element stands strong: the recurrent references, sometimes ambiguous, at times emotional, often nostalgic and on occasion satirical and even tragic to Iran the country, Iran the past, the Iran which has been lost and that which could be found.


The exhibition will be traveling to the Farjam Collection/Hafiz Foundation in Dubai in March 2010. The exhibition is the second of three exhibitions under CAM's EastWest Project in 2009 which aims to promote and foster cross cultural dialogue.




Inside Iran (35)
Abbas Kowsari, Ahmad Morshedloo, Amir Mobed, Alireza Dayani, Arash Hanaei, Arash Sedaghatkish, Arman Stepanian, Barbad Golshiri, Behdad Lahooti, Behrang Samadzadegan, Bita Fayyazi, Daryoush Gharahzad, Farhad Moshiri, Farideh Lashai, Golnaz Fathi, Houman Mortazavi, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Mahmoud Bakhshi Moakher, Majid Ma'soomi Rad, Mehdi Farhadian, Nazgol Ansarinia, Newsha Tavakolian, Ramin Haerizadeh, Reza Derakshani, Reza Paydari, Rokni Haerizadeh, Sadegh Tirafkan, Saghar Daeeri, Shahab Fotouhi, Shirin Aliabadi, Shirin Fakhim, Siamak Filizadeh, Siavash Nagshbandi, Vahid Sharifian


Outside Iran (21)
Ala Ebtekar, Alireza Ghandchi, caraballo-farman, Darius Yektai, Kamran Diba, Leila Pazooki, Mitra Tabrizian, Nazanin Pouyandeh, Negar Ahkami, Nicky Nodjoumi, Parastou Forouhar, Pooneh Maghazehe, Pouran Jinchi, Roya Akhavan, Samira Abbassy, Sara Rahbar, Shahram Entekhabi, Shahram Karimi, Shirin Neshat, Shiva Ahmadi, Shoja Azari



I. Exhibition Sections:

Section 1          In Search of the Axis of Evil

                        On War and Politics

A satirical, comic and at times tragic exploration of the vilifying of a nation and its people by politicians and the Media

Section 2          From Iran to Queeran and Everything in Between

                        On Gender and Sexuality

An intimate revealing of notions of Masculinity and Femininity within Iranian culture both, on the inside and the outside

Section 3          The Culture Shop: Special Sale on Stereotypes - All Must Go!

                        On Culture as Commodity

A "supermarket-like" installation of works by various artists who comment on the redundant stereotypes associated with Iranian artists and art at large

Section 4          Iran Recycled: From Vintage to Vogue

                        On Reinventing the Traditional Art Forms

A display of works by contemporary artists who are revisiting the traditional genres of miniature, arabesque and calligraphy and representing them in a revolutionary way in both media and content

Section 5          Where in the World: City Quiz

                        On Street Culture within Tehran

A group of works by various artists is installed to create the impression of through a street in Tehran in an attempt to reflect on the city's street culture

II. Public Program

1. Dance Residency and Performances

In collaboration with acclaimed New York dance company Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Residency dates:         Aug 24 - 31, 2009

Performances:             September 1, 2 and 3 at 8:00 PM

Cedar Lake Ensemble dancers along with award winning composer/ instrumentalist Reza Derkshani from Tehran will devise a dance and music performance inspired by the art works in the exhibition. Open rehearsals (to be announced) are accessible by the public and the press.


2. Iranian Film Series

In collaboration with Rooftop Films and ArteEast

Opening screening:                Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Regular screenings:                 Every Wednesday at 9:00 PM from July 23rd till August 19th, 2009

On the newly inaugurated roof deck at the Chelsea Art Museum, a series of award winning features, documentaries and short films will be screened featuring titles such as Iran has No More Pomegranates, The Queen and I, My City Pizza, and But You Speak Good English. Screenings will be followed by artists talks.

The opening will feature a performance by the band Electric Black


3. Music Performances, Panel Discussions and Artists' Talks

Hypernova:                 An Iranian indie-rock band based in Tehran

Date: July 14, 2009 at 9:00 PM on CAM's newly inaugurated roof deck
(note change of performance date)

Sussan Deyhim:           Acclaimed singer and composer of Iranian origin

Date: July 31st, 209 at 9:00 PM on CAM's newly inaugurated roof deck

Both events will be preceded by a panel discussion and artists talks earlier in the evening


4. Guided Tours

Date:   Every Saturday at 3:00 PM, beginning July 4

Curator/Docent led tours. Additional tours can be scheduled upon prior request.



The exhibition Iran Inside Out and its Public Programs are in collaboration with:

Arte East
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
Reza Derakshani: Iranian composer/performer
Electric Black
Farjam Collection/Hafiz Foundation
Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller
PAAIA Foundation
Persian Arts Festival
Roof Top Films
Sotheby's Art Institute, London
Farjam Collection Hafiz Foundation is also the Title Sponsor for Iran Inside Out in Dubai


Iran Inside Out in New York is made possible through the generous support of:

Main Sponsor

Nader Ansary
Farjam Collection/Hafiz Foundation
Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller
Maryam Homayoun-Eisler
Sara Nainzadeh
Yasmine Nainzadeh



Mr. Hassan and Mrs. Sheila Nemazee
Nazila Noebashari
The Soudavar Foundation



Faranak, Mahyar, Alex and Cyrus Amirsaleh
Mohammed Afkhami
Carlo Berardi
Laya and Hamid Biglari
Farbod Dowlatshahi
Roya and Massoud Heidari
Lot 71
Francis Najafi
Nazgol and Kambiz Shahbazi
Showman Fabrications

Isabelle van den Eynde



Hello World Communications
Le Book
Whole Foods

Nejla and Mokhtar Asaadi and Family
Nazem Family Foundation
Nazi Batmanglich and Rodman Klotz



Nahid Ahkami
Elizabeth Ross


Media Sponsors

Art Net
Canvas Magazine
The Make Agency
Alcohol Sponsor
Heller Estate Organic Vineyards


The Chelsea Art Museum
556 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
tel 212.255.0719    e-mail
fax 212.255.2368
open Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 6pm
Thursday 11am to 8pm
closed Sunday and Monday
$8 adults, $4 students and seniors, free for members and visitors 16 and under

... Payvand News - 07/07/09 ... --

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