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Iran Arts and Events Calendar

21 Aug 2011 01:50Comments


"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 (deadline August 31). Through September 18. more...

A Review of Contemporary Iranian Calligraphic Painting over the Past 50 Years is the showcase summer exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in TEHRAN. (Our arts correspondent in the capital took a close look at this institution and its fascinating history earlier this year in "'And I Know': Metallica at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art".) The collection includes an array of works by modern masters in the calligraphic field including Jalil Rasouli, Seyyed Mohammad Ehsai, Faramarz Pilaram, Nasrollah Afjehei, Hosseyn Zenderoudi, Reza Mafi, Sadegh Barbarani, Sadegh Tabrizi, Taha Behbahani, Asadollah Kiani, Ebrahim Haghighi, Abolghasem Atighehchi, Sedaghat Jabari, Javad Bakhtiari, and Ali Shirazi. Rasouli's new book Noorali Noor, featuring his most recent work, is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition. Through August 31. more...

The work of the ten artists and designers shortlisted for the Jameel Prize 2011, to be awarded September 12, will be 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...


The Fourth Annual Iranian Film Festival -- SAN FRANCISCO takes place at the San Francisco Art Institute. A showcase for independent motion pictures made by or about Iranians from around the world, the festival will include three new feature-length dramatic films: Flamingo No. 13, directed by Hamid Reza Aligholian; David, directed by Joel Fendelman; and The Other, directed by Mehdi Rahmani. Four recent documentary features will also be presented: Zurkhaneh -- The House of Strength, directed by Federico Spinetti; Bonjour Monsieur Ghaffari, directed by Parviz Jahed; My Iranian Paradise, directed by Annette Mari Olsen and Katia Forbert Petersen; and I Was Worth 50 Sheep, directed by Nima Sarvestani.

Four rarely seen classics will screen as well: Brick and Mirror (1965), directed by Ebrahim Golestan; Iran (1971), directed by Claude LeLouch; Crossroads of Civilization (1976), directed by Anthony Mayer; and À propos de Nice, la suite (1995), an anthology in homage of Jean Vigo's groundbreaking 1930 film, with a segment directed by Abbas Kiarostami and Parviz Kimiavi. The festival will also present over two dozen shorts, including The Accordion, directed last year by Jafar Panahi before he was banned from filmmaking. September 10-11. film descriptions and more...

"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...

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 Cinema in Iran: Circulation, Censorship and Cultural Production workshop, which will be held December 16-18 in BERLIN, has issued a call for papers. The event will cover a wide range of topics, including:

* The contemporary political and industrial context in which films are produced, distributed, and consumed in Iran and the ways in which formal and informal censorship structures and practices impact the industry

* Public debate surrounding film in Iran

* Cinematic circulation and flows among and between the Iranian diaspora and Iranians in Iran

* The role of Iranian cinema as public diplomacy

* The political economy of film in Iran, including piracy and do-it-yourself (DIY) cinematic production such as YouTube

* Conceptions and productions of audiences

* Film as both a formal and informal information conduit in closed or censored societies

* The position of Iranian filmmakers in relation to the sociopolitical convergences in their country and internationally

* The role of cinema vis-à-vis television: subject migration, professional migration, content regulation

* How postrevolutionary Iranian films understand transitions and transformation in relation to other cultural productions in the country

The event is sponsored by the Iran Media Program at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Free University of Berlin, Institute for Film Studies, and George Washington University. Submission deadline: August 31. more...

Registration is now open for the NIAC 2011 Leadership Conference, to 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. $75 registration deadline: September 2 (higher rate afterward). more...

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

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