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Iranian revolution artworks exhibition at SOAS in January

28 November 2013

Post 1979 Iranian revolution artworks by 22 Iranian artists, many exhibiting in the UK for the first time, will be on display at The Brunei Gallery at SOAS, University of London from 16 January – 22 March 2014.

Recalling The Future challenges assumptions about 'Iranian' art. As Iranian artists in the 1960s and 70s increasingly combined signifiers of their local, national identity with formal approaches fit for the increasing modernity of their environment, this exhibition demonstrates artwork that radically shakes up the basic conception of the country’s modern canon.

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Mehraneh Atashi, still frame from “Rose Garden" video


The artists on display reject notions of 'Iranian-ness' as a fixed, timeless entity, and investigate the social and historical construction of identity, as well as their contribution to problematic political situations.

The work at this exhibition calls for a complete rethinking of modern Iranian art history, and its significance alongside the dramatic social upheavals of the last century experienced by the country.

Working across a variety of media including painting; sculpture; photography; video performance and installation pieces the artists draw attention to the building sites of Iranian national identity, with a focus on the devices and techniques through which seemingly 'traditional' narratives are reproduced and maintained in the present.

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Rozita Sharafjahan, Sixth Desire, Digital print and sewn thread on canvas

In doing so, the artist suggest that it is possible intervene within these processes, and re-route them towards new constructions of one’s own making. As such, what is ultimately found in their work is not only a complete re-orientation of our understanding of Iranian (art) history, but also a newly politicised conception of the future.

The exhibition is guest curated by Aras Amiri, Daria Kirsanova, David Hodge, Hamed Yousefi, and Rozita Sharafjahan. Alongside the exhibition, there will be several public events including film screenings, artist talks, and a major symposium at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS on February 1 2014.