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Iran Arts Calendar

11 May 2011 03:20Comments
SanturiCalendar.jpgGhadirianButterfly5.jpg
Bahram Radan and Golshifteh Farahani in Dariush Mehrjui's "Santuri" at the Festival of Music in Middle Eastern Cinema. Shadi Ghadirian's "Miss Butterfly" at Silk Road Gallery.

PERFORMING ARTS

The Festival of Music in Middle Eastern Cinema in LONDON will feature several films from Iran and by Iranian-born directors. Dariush Mehrjui's Santuri centers on Ali, a talented musician who is forced to choose between his old-fashioned family, who disapprove of his music, and his instrument. He pursues a successful career in music and marries Hanieh, but eventually his drug addiction rips his relationships apart. The film was banned in Iran when it was released in 2008, but the soundtrack, combining traditional santur with pop music, was a major success. Three Iranian documentary films will also screen: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb's Back Vocal (2003), which explores the rules that forbid women in Iran to sing alone in public; Bahman Kiarostami's Two Bows (2004), which looks at traditional and modern perspectives on music making through two very different masters of the kamancheh; and Amir Hamz and Mark Lazarz's Sounds of Silence (2006), which goes inside Tehran's burgeoning alternative music scene. May 14-20. more... and on Facebook...

Mohammad Rasoulof's masterpiece The White Meadows (Keshtzarhaye Sepid) screens at the Museum of Fine Arts in BOSTON as part of the Global Lens Film Series. In this beautiful and staggering film, Rahmat, a professional collector of tears, makes his way across the placid waters and otherworldly salt islands of Lake Urmia from one isolate community to the next. Attending on grief of myriad shades, he raises a small glass vial to the cheeks of the bereaved. The derivative he transfers to a large stoppered bottle, slowly filling with liquid sorrow. Rasoulof -- recently sentenced to six years in prison -- raises the ageless mirror of myth to reflect on the deepest truths of his homeland today. May 21 and 22. more...

The Fourth Annual Iranian Film Festival -- San Francisco, a showcase for independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians from around the world, is inviting filmmakers from everywhere to submit their films to the next edition, which will take place September 10-11 in SAN FRANCISCO. The films should be related to Iran by any filmmaker from any country, or made by an Iranian filmmaker on any subject. There are no restrictions on topic or length; the festival is open to all genres. There is no entry fee -- submissions are free to support the filmmakers. Submission deadline: August 1. more...

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

Shadi Ghadirian's new photographic series, Miss Butterfly, appears at the Silk Road Gallery in TEHRAN. By way of suggesting the symbolic meaning of this evocative collection of black-and-white images, the artist offers a précis of Bizhan Mofid's play Shaparak Khanoum:

Miss Butterfly is going to meet the sun. Looking for a way out and reaching for the light, she becomes captive in a spider's web. The spider, moved by compassion after observing Miss Butterfly's grace and delicacy, comes to an agreement with her. She is supposed to bring one of the insects from the dark cellar and tie it up in the spider's web for him. In return, the spider will to lead her to the way out and toward the light. But after hearing the insects' stories, Miss Butterfly feels pity for them and eventually returns to the spider empty-handed with injured wings. She makes herself captive in the web to be the spider's food.

Knowing the truth, the spider sets Miss Butterfly free and shows her the way out to meet the sun. Miss Butterfly calls on all the other insects in the cellar to share her freedom but gets no response. Frustrated by their reaction, she opens her weary wings and flies toward the sun.

Ghadirian's works have been acquired by major public collections such as Paris's Centre Georges Pompidou and London's British Museum. Through May 22. more...

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde (formerly B21) in DUBAI presents He Who Came and Disappeared, new works on paper by Farshid Maleki. The overlapping of hundreds of lines and dozens of magic marker colors shape characters in states of perpetual metamorphosis, springing from the artist's personal mythology. Complex networks and graffiti-like textures reveal defiant and distorted forms. Urgently drawn figures loom and retreat, some drawn from life, others representations of pure emotion. May 16-June 20. more...

At the Beirut Exhibition Center on BEIRUT's New Waterfront, Rose Issa Projects will present Zendegi: Twelve Contemporary Iranian Artists. Works by both prominent and emerging artists working in diverse media will be featured. Zendegi, Persian for "life," will be the first major group show of contemporary Iranian artists in the Lebanese capital. The artists are Maliheh Afnan, Farhad Ahrarnia, Mohammed Ehsai, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Parastou Forouhar, Shadi Ghadirian, Bita Ghezelayagh, Taraneh Hemami, Abbas Kiarostami, Farhad Moshiri, Najaf Shokri, and Mitra Tabrizian. Through May 30. more...

In LOS ANGELES, Elizabeth Taylor in Iran, a photographic series by Firooz Zahedi, can be seen at LACMA's Ahmanson Building. In 1976, Taylor visited Iran for the first and only time. Accompanying her was Zahedi, a recent art school graduate who has since gone on to become a successful Hollywood photographer. Iran provided an exotic and engaging locale for Taylor, a tireless global wanderer still at the height of her fame. For Zahedi, who left Iran as a child, this was a reintroduction to his own country. His vivid photographs of their remarkable journey are shown together here for the first time. Through June 12. more...

Email your arts listings to tehranbureauarts@gmail.com.

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