Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

Shokoufeh Alidousti
Self-Portrait 3, 2003
Silver gelatin

January 28 – March 24, 2013

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.

Farshid Azarang
Scattered Reminiscences, 2003
“C” Print

Public Programming:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5:30 PM

Hadi Gharabaghi will discuss the accomplishments of Persian Visions as an exhibition and humanistic endeavor, as well as what it means to set in motion grassroots cultural exchange in the void of over three decades of diplomatic discourse between two states. The idea of the artistic encounter being the only promising vector by which the imperialistically bastardized knowledge of culture in present-day Iran might be salvaged will be presented. However, there is a limit to humanistic discourse as a means of knowledge production, and circumstances in which the humanities have functioned as a façade for gathering intelligence on state-defined “hostile” territories will be presented.

This event is free and open to the public.

Installation Views

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.