Iranian Perspectives: A Group Show
30 March – 2 June 2012
| Parastou Forouhar | Shadi Ghadirian | Amirali Ghasemi | Tara Inanloo | Bahman Jalali | Malekeh Nayiny | Omid Salehi | Jalal Sepehr |
The Richard Young Gallery announces its most eclectic and culturally enriched exhibition to date. Eight Iranian photographers exhibit their unique, individual perspectives on life in Iran today, to offer a vivid social commentary on the traditions, religion, politics and culture of one of the oldest civilisations in the world and the people within it.
Exhibition highlights include: a photograph from Bahman Jalali’s Image of Imagination Series in which 19th century photo negatives have been layered and developed simultaneously to create a collage-like visual impression; Omid Salehi’s beautifully photographed Iranian wall murals; Jalal’s Sepehr’s Persian rugs situated in unlikely places and Tara Inanloo’s controversial self-portraits that were deemed ‘illegal’ in Iran and forced her to seek asylum in the UK.
This exhibition has been curated by Susan Young, Founder & Director of the Richard Young Gallery, and partner to renowned celebrity photographer, Richard Young. Susan is of Persian lineage and has acquired a specialist knowledge of Islamic art over the past 30 years.
Susan says: ‘Iranian Perspectives is an exhibition I’ve anticipated for many years. I am proud to give a platform to these artists who withstand social, political, and religious pressures to express their creative perception of Iran with truth and integrity.’
The Richard Young Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting innovative, contemporary fine art photography. Founded in 2008 by Susan and Richard Young and located in the heart of Kensington, the Richard Young Gallery has quickly become the foremost contemporary photography gallery in West London. Exhibiting six to eight exhibitions per year, the gallery’s exhibition programme focuses purely on contemporary photographic-based work, by emerging to established British and International photographers, who push boundaries and think ‘outside the box’.
For further information, images, or to arrange an interview with Omid Salehi, Tara Inanloo, or Susan Young please contact Jean or Angie at J E Communications on 020 8875 1868, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Photographer and multimedia artist Parastou Forouhar, was born in Tehran in 1962 and went on to study Art at the University of Tehran followed by a MA in Germany, where she has lived since 1991. Her work has been widely exhibited in prestigious galleries in New York, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, San Francisco, Denmark, Tehran and Istanbul.
She presents work that is both witty and macabre, influenced by the Iranian Revolution she witnessed in 1979, and more latterly, the murder of her parents in 1998 by secret agents in Tehran.
‘My efforts to investigate this crime has had a great impact on my personal and artistic sensibilities. I have tried to distil this conflict of displacement and transfer of meaning, turning it into a source of creativity. Examining this production of indentity and reality, and the repressive mechanisms by which it occurs, is the focus of my work.’
Shadi Ghadirian was born in 1974 in Tehran where she still lives and works. She was taught by Bahman Jalali and has been widely exhibited throughout Europe, the Middle East and the US.
Ghadirian’s work challenges the perceptions of women’s roles within Iran and her photographs explore aspects of her own experiences as a modern woman living within the restrictions of Shariah Law. These messages are conveyed with humour and allow a positive female identity to shine through.
‘I have been inspired by 19th century Quajar portraits and have tried to reconstruct the atmosphere of that era by using old backdrops. My models are chosen from close family and friends, wearing 20th century clothing with objects smuggled into contemporary Iran.’
Amirali Ghasemi was born in Tehran in 1980 and studied at Central Tehran Azad University. In 1998 he established Parkingallery, an independent project space in Tehran and in 2002 Parkingallery.com, a virtual gallery which has become an online platform for many young Iranian artists. His multi award-winning photography, videos and design works have been shown throughout the world.
Tehran Remixed is a multimedia journey into Tehran’s underground life, reflecting the different aspects of young Iranian’s social life.
Born in Iran in 1989, Inanloo is a feminist activist and photographer whose images have provoked outrage in her country of birth. However, it is this climate of censorship that has been the foundation of her series of self-portraits inspired by American artist Cindy Sherman, where she represents the hidden aspects of a life of an Iranian woman that she discovers in herself.
‘Disguise is what Iranian women grow up with. Disguising is the most important part of my life. It’s not easy to be a non-existent creature. You always have to lie. But I have always tried to cross the boundaries and present another side.’
Tara’s self portraits were the first of their kind to be shown in Iran. She now lives in London where she has been granted political asylum.
Born in 1944, Bahman Jalali was the master of a generation of emerging photographers and author of photography books and respected theoretical works in the field. He is credited as one of the first to launch photography as an art in Iran and to have made it acceptable to the general public.
Jalali explored mementos that left a mark on his imagination – taking images found in his numerous journeys across the country, and combining and recreating them. ‘These images gave way to a new world, one only found in the imagination. In the space between the tangible and the virtual, a world that brings these two realities ever closer has come into existence.’ Bahman Jalali died in 2010.
Nayiny was born in Teheran, Iran in 1955 and now lives and works in Paris. Her work is collected worldwide and has been exhibited in New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Tehran and she has been published in numerous magazines since 1983.
Using computer technology as a ‘time machine’ to alter original black and white photographs of her family. Nayiny says, ‘ I had the feeling that what I was trying to accomplish was a prolongation of my separation with the past. It became evident to me that if I was to go forward with my life I had to somehow assimilate all these bits and pieces with my life before.’
Social documentary photographer, Omid Salehi was born in 1972 in Shiraz, Iran and now lives and works in London. After studying Photography at Azad University in Tehran, he worked as a photojournalist for several reformist daily newspapers.
Omid has exhibited widely and won several awards including the Kaveh Golestan Photojournalism Award (2004, 2005) and is a founding member of the Iranian art and photography website: 135 Photos. In 2011, Omid published two books: ‘Omid Salehi: A photographer’s journey through Iran’ and ‘Control’, issue 23 of the ‘eye’ series, published in Iran.
Omid says ‘My work is a narrative and within it I am to go deep into the interactions of an ancient and dynamic society on the move.’
Born in 1968 in Tehran, where he continues to live and work. Self-taught, Sepehr has participated in some seventy photography festivals and competitions the most noteworthy of which are:
- Third place, Iranian Industrial Photography Festival, 2003 – First and second place, Marine Photography Competition, 2004 and 2005 – Second place, PX3 Festival, France, 2009 – Certificate of Honor, Peking Art Photography Festival, 2005 – Bulgarian Satire Festival, 2007 and 2009 – First place, Postcard Photography Festival of Canada, 2007 – Second place, Shouka Kitchen Photography Festival, 2007.
Sepehr says of his series, Water and Persian Rugs, ‘I take unexpected environments to create new moments, contrasts and diversity – the rugs float and dance.’