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Iran Arts and Events Calendar

15 Sep 2011 02:30Comments
TheSoundOfMyFoot.jpgArhaniaMitraRed Lights.jpg
Mehrdad Khoshbakht's "The Sound of My Foot," at the Auburn International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults. Farhad Ahrarnia's "Mitra, Red Lights" at Rose Issa Projects. (Homepage: Hypernova.)

PERFORMING ARTS

"We have no idea how good or bad we are -- we've just been playing in Iran." That's what Hypernova's lead singer and songwriter, Raam, acknowledged to a crowd at a bar gig four years ago on New York City's Lower East Side. Now the indie rock band is about to record its second album and will be headlining at the famous Troubador club in LOS ANGELES. "Vive La Resistance," from their debut, Through the Chaos, sums up the motivation behind their music: "The boys, they're shouting, and the girls, they are dancing, and it ain't no f****** crime!" September 16. more...

The trio Niyaz, featuring vocalist Azam Ali, bring their striking blend of trance electronica and dance music from around the globe with centuries-old Persian folk songs to Yoshi's OAKLAND. Drawing on medieval Persian poetry and Sufi mystical traditions, Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian, and producer Carmen Rizzo create a sound all their own -- the singer describes what binds the disparate elements of their style together: "The common thread is putting yourself in a higher state. Even with club music, I think that's what people go to it for. The only problem was that it was void of 'soul,' the spirit of acoustic trance music. We always felt there was a way to bring the two together that blurs the line between the acoustic and the electronic." Their Nine Heavens displays Niyaz's range -- one of its two CDs is entirely acoustic. September 17. tickets and more...

Mohammad Rasoulof's masterpiece The White Meadows (Keshtzarhaye Sepid) screens at the Cornell Cinema in ITHACA, New York. 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. September 15, 17, and 19. more... The White Meadows will also screen as part of the Park City Film Series in PARK CITY, Utah. September 22. more... And at the Milwaukee Film Festival in MILWAUKEE. September 23, 25, and 27. more...

The 14th Auburn International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults in WESTERN SYDNEY, Australia, will present the world premiere of director Mehrdad Khoshbakht's new feature film, The Sound of My Foot. The festival will also include a special section devoted to Kurdish Iranian shorts, including Beautiful Snowy Day, directed by Mahaya Petrossian and Amir Toodehroosta; A Good Family, directed by Amir Hussein Torabi; Football Field, directed by Jalal Nasiry Hanis; and The Sound Of Rain, directed by Jalal Saedpanah. Though the official event website does not indicate it, Press TV reports that the festival will also present Echoes of an Era, a collection of shorts by renowned documentarian Kamran Shirdel. September 19-23. more...

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

"Retrospectives are best done when the photographer is dead...or so I thought until the National Museum of Singapore suggested I have one," the celebrated Iranian photographer Abbas says of the new career-spanning exhibit of his work. "For almost 45 years I have roamed the world, in search of images of upheaval; initially political and social, then later, religious." He adds, "Let's just consider this retrospective (with some modesty -- who knows how many more years I shall roam?) The First 45 Years." In conjunction with Abbas, 45 Years in Photography, the SINGAPORE museum is also holding a "Life in Action" Photography Competition. Through September 18. more...

Rose Issa Projects in LONDON presents Mixed Hanging. This group exhibition features works in various media by five artists, including Farhad Ahrarnia (see above), who describes his recent work:

For me, living in Iran has never guaranteed a state of detachment or indifference to events unfolding rapidly in the rest of the world. Various contradictory narratives, sounds, and images seep into my imagination and consciousness. They become entangled with my perception, history and everyday reality. Naturally, I can't help but weave my own set of meanings from what I see around me. I piece together tainted realizations and understandings, imbued with a sense of conspiracy, anxiety, and unease, however false or twisted it might be.

The myriad diversity of Iranian perspectives on regional and global events has always bemused and intrigued me. I suppose the greatest challenge that faces my generation is how to reconcile our contemporaneity and modernity with our search for individual and collective truths. If and when we bother to reclaim everything that tends to seduce and manipulate our views, perhaps then a degree of emancipation will be achieved.

I reach out for my truth and autonomy through embroidery and the language of needlework, with sharp needles and endless spools of colorful thread. As I navigate my thoughts through the surface of an image, I find myself deconstructing and reassembling its subliminal undertones and intentions. Recently I have begun carving metallic household utensils, forming my version of certain collective histories on to their surface. This is my attempt to dig out and save the lost spirit of all that might still be hovering beneath.

The other artists whose work appears in Mixed Hanging are Omar D., Monir Farmanfarmaian, Fathi Hassan, and Taraneh Hemami. Through September 30. more...

The work of the ten artists and designers shortlisted for the Jameel Prize 2011, which was awarded on September 12 to Algerian-born Rachid Koraïchi, are being showcased at LONDON's Victoria and Albert Museum. The Jameel Prize, launched in 2009, is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. Of the ten shortlisted out of nearly 200 nominees, five are from Iran or of Iranian heritage. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian's Birds of Paradise demonstrates her distinctive style of adapting and combining Iranian traditions of mirror mosaic and reverse glass painting techniques with a modern aesthetic. Bita Ghezelayagh's Felt Memories series is inspired by the Islamic tradition of talismanic coats, worn to protect the wearer from misfortune. She creates a new visual language, using metal keys, crowns, tulips (symbols of martyrdom), machine guns, and other street symbols along with printed Persian phrases to cover the surface of her pieces.

In his multidisciplinary work, Babak Golkar examines sociocultural issues experienced from living in both the Middle East and Canada. His Negotiating the Space for Possible Coexistences No.5 is part of a series that uses Persian carpet patterns as blueprints for architectural scale models. The titles of Hadieh Shafie's new 22500 and 26000 Pages refer to the number of paper strips with which the respective scroll ensembles are composed. Each scroll is marked with printed and handwritten Farsi, the concentric forms of both text and material taking their inspiration from the dance of the dervishes. In the digital collages Frolicking Women in the Pool and Fashion Week, Soody Sharifi enlarges scans of traditional Persian miniature paintings and interjects them with her own photographs to create layered, evocative narratives. Through September 25. more...

Leila Pazooki is one of the 11 international artists whose work is featured in the See the Light exhibition at Espace Louis Vuitton in HONG KONG. Pazooki's work explores the aesthetics of context, revealing the creative force that can emerge both from working within and transcending various moral, religious, and ideological frameworks. In her See the Light piece, she sets art world buzzphrases -- which may or not be hypothetical -- to glow and fade as an ironic comment on fashion and fame. Through October. more...

OtherIS presents the public video art project TVDinner, starting at Immigrant Movement International in QUEENS, New York. Curator Sandra Skurvida (Iran and Iraq) worked with cocurators Amirali Ghasemi (Iran), Sohrab Kashani (Iran), Shireen Naziree (Burma), Lena Prents (Belarus), and Aneta Szylak and Hiwa K. (Iraqi Kurdistan) to bring together videos from countries sanctioned by the United States. TVDinner draws from BBCCCIILNSSSZ/////, a database of video art from and about U.S.-sanctioned countries that succeeds the SanctionedArray project produced in response to restrictions of video submissions to the Guggenheim Museum and YouTubeʼs Play biennial in 2010.

The featured artists include Sherko Abbas, Erfan Abdi, Mehrdad Afsari, Tara Najd Ahmadi, Mojtaba Amini, Bahar Behbahani, Negar Behbahani, Wafaa Bilal, Nisrine Boukhari, Skirwan Can, caraballo-farman, Anna Chkolnikova, Gohar Dashti, Samira Eskandarfar, Shirwan Fatih, Amirali Ghasemi, Haleh Ghasemi, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Farid Jafari Samarghandi, Hiwa K., Poshya Kakil, Behnam Kamrani, Simin Keramati, Khosro Khosravi, Htein Lin, Rozhgar Mahmud Mustafa, Marina Naprushkina, Nosrat Nosratian, Nassrin Nasser, Aliyar Rasti, Horen Gharib Rauf, Neda Razavipoor, Shirin Sabahi, Sona Safaei, Niyaz Saghari, Hamed Sahihi, Larissa Sansour, Rozita Sharafjahan, Chaw Ei Thein, and Maxim Tyminko. TVDinner will continue around New York City at cafés and restaurants associated with the represented countries. At various venues through November 30. more...

EVENTS, ET CETERA

The Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) in partnership with the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars presents Women and Democratic Transition in the Middle East at WASHINGTON, D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Several of the most knowledgeable and creative representatives of the women's movement from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will address the challenges and the ways and means of achieving viable democracies using women's position as a barometer for the success of democratic transition. Two panels will be held: "Perspectives from the Region," followed by "The Arab Spring: Influences and Outcomes." September 20. more...

The NIAC 2011 Leadership Conference will be held in WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2-4. Panels will include "U.S./Iran Relations: Opportunities & Setbacks from the Washington Insider's Perspective," "Iranian Americans' Role in the United States," and "Behind-the-Scenes Decision Makers." There will be workshops on "How to Build Power Through Community Organizing" and "Advocacy: How to be Effective and Efficient" and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives on Capitol Hill. The conference is limited to members of the National Iranian American Council, so nonmembers interested in participating should join up here. Registration now open. more...

Tehran Bureau founder and editor-in-chief Kelly Golnoush Niknejad will participate in a panel discussion, "Innovation: Columbians Break Through," at the Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend in NEW YORK. The panel, moderated by Brian Lehrer, host of WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, will also include Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Charles Renfro and ESI Design's Edwin Schlossberg. The participants will discuss the process of finding new ways of thinking, doing, and changing the world. October 21. more...

Email your arts and events listings to info@tehranbureau.com.

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