Unedited History. Iran 1960-2014

Art and visual culture in Iran from the 1960s up to the present. 11 Dec. 2014 - 29 March 2015 at MAXXI Rome. Before at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Extensive photo tour.
Dec 2014

From 11 December 2014 until 29 March 2015, the MAXXI Rome is the second station of the exhibition Unedited History, Iran 1960-2014.

Before, from 16 May until 24 August 2014, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presented the show at ARC, the museum's research and exhibition area. Bringing together over 200 works by twenty artists from the years 1960-1970 and representatives of the new generation, the exhibition focuses on painting, photography and cinema, as well as key aspects of Iran's modern visual culture: posters and documentary material ranging from the Shiraz-Persepolis Festival of the Arts to the revolutionary period and the Iran-Iraq war.

>> Nafas photo tour
Tour through the exhibition in Paris,
including explanations about the chapters and art works

Unedited History is arranged in three chronological sequences:
- The years of 'modernisation' 1960-1978
- Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war 1979-1988
- Contemporary matters 1989 - 2014

Introductory text at the exhibition:

The history of modernism in the visual arts in Iran during the latter half of the 20th century is increasingly being questioned. With this in mind, the exhibition Unedited History is an attempt to recreate the broad 'sequences' of the social and political context out of which visual culture in Iran has grown since 1960. To that end, we need to approach the subject without reference to investment or the effects of fashion, both of which are part of 'contemporary Iranian art' and can lead artists, institutions and the art market to invent and exploit their own exoticism.

The title Unedited History is a reference to film editing - the 'rushes' stage, when the film has been shot but the footage has not yet been edited and, by implication, has never been seen by the public at large. The cinema metaphor raises questions about the way the history of contemporary Iran is recorded through the structuring elements of visual culture. The latter invites study of the transversal dynamics between the plastic arts, graphic art, cinema, and the performing arts, as well as cartoons, agit-prop demonstrations and religious activities.

The exhibition does not seek to cover all the expressions of modernism. The aim is more a matter of highlighting the strong connections that exist between visual culture and the various legacies that visual culture has generated or renewed, and to do this through corpora that are both coherent and heterogeneous. Each of the artists in their own particular way formulates a reaction to the historical moment to which they belong. These are artists, filmmakers and cultural producers who are attentive to the history of images and to documentary traditions but who are also subject to the power relationships and ideological conflicts of contemporary Iran.

Although Unedited History is part of an international research movement concerning modernism in Iran it is also an attempt to deconstruct a too rigid view of the situation - a preconceived idea, for example, that the 1979 Revolution might have brought the thrust of modernism to an irrevocable halt. The exhibition concentrates as much on what was a break as on what continued - occasionally more discreetly - across the succeeding periods, with the same figures dominating the scene. If only to get a glimpse of the arcane labyrinths of a society where the individual was often sacrificed for the sake of the community, it is necessary to look not just at the history but also the geography of events.

The function of photography, film and documentary work is to structure local understanding of modernism in Iran and they give us conflicting interpretations of the images - particularly since the 1960s. These corpora, which are often incomplete or difficult to gain access to, are brought together in this exhibition in sets of categories. Photo or film archives, and also cartoons, posters and reviews, are a means of recording social and political history.

Artists on show:
Morteza Avini, 1947-1993
Mazdak Ayari, * 1976
Kazem Chalipa, * 1957
Mitra Farahani, * 1975
Chohreh Feyzdjou, 1955-1996
Jassem Ghazbanpour, * 1963
Kaveh Golestan, 1950-2003
Barbad Golshiri, * 1982
Arash Hanaei, * 1978
Behzad Jaez, * 1975
Bahman Jalali, 1944-2010
Rana Javadi, * 1953
Khosrow Khorshidi, * 1932
Bahman Kiarostami, * 1978
Parviz Kimiavi, * 1939
Ardeshir Mohassess, 1938-2008
Bahman Mohassess, 1931 -2010
Morteza Momayez, 1935-2005
Tahmineh Monzavi, * 1988
Mohsen Rastani, * 1958
Farhad Rhamati, * 1964
Narmine Sadeg, * 1955
Behdjat Sadr, 1924-2009
Kamran Shirdel, * 1939
Kourosh Shishegaran, * 1944
Behzad Shishegaran, * 1952
Esmail Shishegaran, * 1946
Archaeology of the Final Decade presents:
Festival of Arts Shiraz-Persepolis, and Kaveh Golestan - Shahr-e No.

Published by Paris Musées, Unedited History, Iran 1960-2014 oscillates between past and present, combining details of the works with critical essays and historical documentary material and bringing a fresh perspective to local-global interaction in the Iranian art context. Among the authors: Vali Mahlouji, Bavand Behpour, Hamed Yousefi, Anoush Ganjipour, Catherine David and Morad Montazami. There will also be a selection of texts going in greater detail into the issues raised by the exhibition. Price: 39.90 €

Talks, Screenings:
A programme of encounters, talks and screenings will accompany the exhibition, including:
Nouvel Odéon: le Festival CINEMA(S) D'IRAN, 6 - 17 June 2014
Conference Téhéran, projections d’une ville à la Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, 6 May - 24 August 2014

Extra Muros:
Barbad Golshiri's work, Concession éphémère, 1955‑1996-2014, and Sarcophage by Chohreh Feyzdjou are presented at the Cimetière Parisien de Pantin (115, N 10)

Travelling schedule:
Unedited History, IRAN 1960-2014, will be presented at MAXXI - the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Italy, from 12 December 2014 to 29 March 2015.

More information:
Press officer: Maud Ohana
Tel. 01 53 67 40 51

(From press information and a text at the exhibition)

Unedited History
Iran 1960-2014

16 May - 24 August 2014

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11 Avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris

Director: Fabrice Hergott

Exhibition curators:
Catherine David
Morad Montazami
Odile Burluraux
Narmine Sadeg
Vali Mahlouji - Archaeology of the Finale Decade

2nd venue:

National Museum of XXI Century Arts
11 December 2014 - 29 March 2015
Via Guido Reni 4A
00196 Rome, Italy

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