Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category

Iranian photographers in the spotlight

March 10, 2009

Tehran Bureau | spotlight

IRANIAN PHOTOGRAPHY NOW
EDITED BY ROSE ISSA

Iranian Photography Now
is a dynamic survey and celebration of the unique vision of 36 Iranian artists living In Iran and abroad. Featuring well-known and established photographers together with emerging talents, all the artists in this publication distinguish themselves with the originality of their vision, whether documentary, artistic, or conceptual.

ABBAS | MEHRAN AFSHAR-NADERI | REZA ARAMESH | MEHRANEH ATASHI | FEREYDOUN AVE | GOHAR DASHTI | PARASTOU FOROUHAR | SHADI GHADIRIAN | HASSAN GHAFFARI | AMIRALI GHASEMI | MEHDI GHASEMI | KAVEH GOLESTAN | RODIN HAMIDI | ARASH HANAEI | GHAZALEH HEDAYAT | PEYMAN HOOSHMANDZADEH | BAHMAN JALALI | MAHMUD KALARI | DARIUSH KIANI | ABBAS KIAROSTAMI | ABBAS KOWSARI | ALI MAHDAVI | MEHRAN MOHAJER | JAVAD MONTAZERI | MALEKEH NAYINY | SHIRIN NESHAT | HAMED NOORI | MOHSEN RASTANI | OMID SALEHI | SEIFOLLAH SAMADIAN | JALAL SEPEHR | SHIRANA SHAHBAZI | MITRA TABRIZIAN | NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN | SADEGH TIRAFKAN | MEHDI VOSOUGHNIA

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Book Launch
Saturday, 21 March 1-6pm

Exhibition
21 March – 18 April 2009
Tuesday-Saturday 1-6pm

ROSE ISSA
269 Kensington High Street
London W8 6NA
Tel: +020 7602 7700
Info@roseIssa.com
www.roseissa.com

Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran

January 24, 2009

Photo by Iason Athanasiadis

Los Angeles

By IASON ATHANASIADIS
Tehran Bureau | spotlight

It is the most hypothetical news story topping the international news agenda: Is the Islamic Republic pursuing a nuclear bomb? Does it lurk behind the Iraq insurgency? Is it out to dominate the Persian Gulf? Where is the fire amid the smoke?

Speculation and demonization consistently drown out WHAT IS arguably the Middle East’s most diverse ethnic and religious culture. They obscure landscapes of rare variety and geological beauty pulsating with colour and a rare light. Iran’s mystical topography is the setting for the struggle between tradition and modernity. It has been a constant in the modern era, first during the Qajar and Pahlavi empires, then throughout the three-decade lifespan of the Islamic Republic.

I come from Greece, a country as rich in heritage and as culturally fractious as Iran. Moving to Tehran in 2004, I was struck by our shared culture wars. Old civilizations find it particularly awkward to adapt to a rational modernity where culture and tradition stand for little; countries where indigenous religions, Greek polytheism, and Iranian Zoroastrianism, are subsumed by Christian and Muslim monotheism.

Greece and Iran have both been crossroads and laboratories for experiments in social conditioning. The most radical consequence of these culture wars was the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Whether in the form of churches planted on top of marble temples or Zoroastrian shrines transformed into imamzadehs (burial shrines for Shiite saints), the imposition of monotheism signified the loss of indigenous traditions.

I photographed Iran from the perspective of charting shared narratives and divergent fates. I leave you to make up your mind about this secular theocracy manifesting paradox in its every fissure.

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“Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran: Through the lens of Iason Athanasiadis” opens tomorrow at CAFAM in Los Angeles. The exhibit offers an alternative narrative of the country famously included in the “Axis of Evil” by President George W. Bush. Through the vivid photography of international photojournalist Iason Athanasiadis, visitors will experience an Iran rarely seen in Western media. Vignettes of daily life not unlike our own are revealed in stunning color and black and white photography: Friends on a weekend ski-trip; a Tehran designer’s first fashion show; Soccer fans rooting for the home team; backstage at a rock concert. With the youth demographic rapidly growing—today, nearly 70% of Iran’s population is under 30—Iran’s traditional culture is adapting and being reinterpreted by a youth subculture that is both Western and critical of the West.