Thursday, 21 January 2010

Vintage Fashion in Iran: Photographs from the first half of the twentieth century

Establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 meant that women were forced to wear Hijab and that it is strictly forbidden for women to be photographed without Hijab.

There was a time, following the military coup of 1920 when women were forced not to wear Hijab. Here are a few photographs from the first half of the twentieth century, the rise of industrial era in Iran.

You may find many more photos from that era in Portrait Photographs From Isfahan.

Via Payvand

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

Haggerty Museum of Art, until 17 January, 2010

Sadegh Tirafkan, Persepolis, 2 x 28.5", 20.5 x 25.2"

An exhibition of more than 60 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers. The exhibition gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, while simultaneously addressing public concerns.

Iran has long distinguished itself with the spectacular quality and international presence of its visual art and film. With the backdrop of increasing attention given to the art and culture of Iran and the current political crisis in that part of the world, an exhibition with this focus is most timely. In expressing their many different visions of their world, these artists offer a look at private and public realms. Their perspectives contradict the way many foreign photographers typically capture Iran on film as purely exotic.

Shokoufeh Alidousti offers self-portraits and family photographs exploring cultural and female identity. Esmail Abbasi draws on Persian literature for his subject matter with contemporary notes on the present circumstances in Iran. Shahriar Tavakoli focuses on his family history through a series of portraits capturing the subtleties and mood of the Iranian family. In Koroush Adim’s Revelation series, the images in the exhibition that feature the veil acknowledge this sign of culture, but the “revelation” is anything but simple. Shahrokh Ja’fari’s use of unusual spacial rendering in depicting the veiled figure demands that the viewer look harder and think harder about what can be revealed through the visual.

The images presented in Persian Visions cannot entirely surmount the physical and cultural distance between Iran and the United States. Nevertheless, the exhibition builds a visual bridge that allows for differences, even as it leads viewers to new awareness of other ways of being and seeing.

Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota and toured by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C. This exhibition is supported in part by grants from the ILEX Foundation; the University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment; and the Department of Art and Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota.

Exhibition co-curator Gary Hallman, associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota, will give the opening presentation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. The presentation introduces an overview of the initiation of the project, the staff and director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the criteria for the selection of the artists, and a sense of the cultural and political climate that shaped the photographic work and project itself. Selected pieces from the exhibition will provide discussion points illustrating the influences of history, culture and political climate on contemporary practice in Tehran.

Bahman Jalali, Image of Imagination 2, 2003, 28.25 x 28.25"

Mehran Mohajer, T.V. Series 1, 2003, 19 x 51.5"

Arman Stepanian, Untitled, 2001, 27.25 x 38.25"

Koroush Adim, Revelations 1, 19.5 x 29.25"

Ahmad Nateghi, Untitled, 1998, 17.25 x 24"

Shahriar Tavakoli, My Family (Hallelujah 2), 2002, 29 x 29"

Via Haggerty Museum of Art website

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

She turned her work into an art

Extremes, though contrary, have the like effects. Extreme heat kills, and so extreme cold: extreme love breeds satiety, and so extreme hatred; and too violent rigor tempts chastity, as does too much license. -- George Chapman

Ms. Lane, 41, grew up on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, and studied welding, planning to use the technique to make art (and, if that proved impossible, simply to make a living). Some sculptors, including Richard Serra, who has called welding “a form of stitching,” use the technique to join pieces of metal. Ms. Lane, by contrast, uses her torch to cut baroque patterns into such mundane objects as shovels, Dumpsters and old oil drums.

The work is about the contrasts between the industrial and the fanciful, the opaque and the transparent. Ms. Lane described herself as “a person who always has opposites in my head.”

In an artist’s statement, Lane says about her work:

I like to work as a visual devil’s advocate, using contradiction as a vehicle for finding my way to an empathetic image, an image of opposition that creates a balance - as well as a clash - by comparing and contrasting ideas and materials.This manifested in a series of “Industrial Doilies”, pulling together industrial and domestic life as well as relationships of strong and delicate, masculine and feminine, practical and frivolity, ornament and function. There is also a secondary relationship being explored here, of lace used in religious ceremonies as in weddings, christenings and funerals,

With this notion of desirable oppositions I created the structure “fabricate”. In this Structure I hand cut lace trimming patterns into 9 I-beams, then constructed a tower, simultaneously macho, and of delicate finery. The metaphor of lace further intrigued me by its associations of hiding and exposing at the same time; like a veil to cover, or lingerie to reveal. It also introduces a kind of humor through the form of unexpected relationships. Like a Wrestler in a tutu, the absurdity of having opposing extremist stances is there for reaction and not rational understanding; the rational discussion arises in the search for how one thing defines the other by its proximity.


 Via Foley Gallery, Cal Lane’s websiteNY Times, and Layers of Meaning Blog