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WHAT IF NOT EXOTIC?

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES IN CONTEMPORARY IRANIAN ART

Presented by Building Bridges Art Exchange

Curated by Aria Eghbal and Mahsa Farhadikia

Project Coordinator Erit Majdipour

Exhibition: November 9 - December 10, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9, 5 - 8pm

What if Not Exotic? Critical Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art is a group exhibition of artworks from 23 Iranian artists. This exhibition is an attempt at presenting a realistic image of contemporary Iranian art— as an alternative to the common neo-Orientalist representations of the “Middle Eastern” art in general and Iranian art in particular— in Western art markets. All the selected works maintain deep and significant connections to their socio-political context that fall beyond clichés and common expectations. In other words, they have not resorted to predictable and predetermined subject matters and visual elements to question their current political situation. In fact, these are pieces that have experiential aspects related to real limitations that artists face on a personal and professional level. Therefore, dialogue between these works and the artists’ lived context is a complex interwoven one that affects different aspects of the process: from the artists’ choice in media, to the size and the color palette, and from the style and formal language, to the subject matter. The exhibition is arranged in four main sections. In each section, a significant and emblematic aspect of Iranian art and life is examined: Public Spheres, Private Interiors, The Body; from defiance to deformation, and Memory; from Personal to Collective.

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