Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran
Pasadena , CA 91101
On Friday, June 22, 2007, Pacific Asia Museum will open Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran, an exhibition that provides a rare, revealing view of Iranian life with more than 60 photographs by renowned Iranian photographers. Subjects include public life as well as the intimate – such as family life and celebrations. This will be the only West Coast venue for this exhibition.
The twenty artists in the exhibition are among Iran’s most celebrated photographers, all of whom use the medium for cultural expression and self-exploration. Many of the artists are well known throughout Europe where they have extensively exhibited their works. Several of these artists have lived abroad and experienced western culture before returning to Iran to document their own culture. This perspective of life in Iran contradicts the way many foreign photographers use the medium: to represent Iran and its people as purely exotic.
Iran has distinguished itself with the quality and international presence of its film and visual art. Now we can extend our appreciation of Iranian artists with the photographic work of Shokoufeh Alidousti, whose self-portraits and family photographs explore both cultural and female identity. Esmail Abbasi draws on Persian literature for his subject matter and adds contemporary side notes on present circumstances in Iran. And Shahriar Tavakoli focuses on his family history through a series of portraits capturing the mood of an Iranian family with all its subtleties.
Persian Visions will travel to the University of Michigan Museum, the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, the Mulvane Art Museum in Topeka, and the Missoula Museum of Art. Recently it was on view at the Honolulu Academy of Art, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, and the Art Gallery of the University of Maryland.
Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran, and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. This exhibition was made possible in part by the ILEX Foundation, University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment, and the Department of Art, Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota.