Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

  January 28 – March 24, 2013

Public Programs

5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Lecture: Hadi Gharabaghi

Gharabaghi, originally form Tehran, Iran, will speak about the photographs, shedding light on the appearance of some of the cultural, historic and religious symbolism and imagery depicted. The lecture will also touch upon the way in which the current political climate in Iran affects practicing artists.

The exhibition presents more than 60 works of photography and video installations by twenty of Iran's most celebrated photographers. These images, often luscious with color and imagery, are dense narratives full of history and symbolism, and filtered through private, individual sensibilities, that provide cultural clues about our sameness and our differences. The photographs 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, and 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, Iran and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota, and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

As a young boy during the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, artist Hadi Gharabaghi sought refuge in the imaginative world of literature and cinema. Once in the United States, he transformed this enthusiasm into academic work in critical studies and media. Hadi's experience as a minority - a Baha'i among Shiite Muslims, then a Middle Easterner in the United States - gave him a keen understanding of the values of both assimilation and identity. These themes drive his artistic works.

Hadi Gharabaghi's background in photography, film, art history, theory and criticism includes a B.A. in Photography from Montgomery College, a B.A. in Art History from UMBC, and from numerous exhibitions and educational projects. He is a Jack Cooke Kent Foundation Scholar, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Cinema Studies at NYU where his focus is Iranian film.

The presentation of Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran at UMBC is supported in part by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Endowment and individual contributions.