speaking for themselves

The exhibition “Speaking for Themselves” takes a look at the contemporary art scene in Iran and consists of a selection of works created by young artists. What is clearly seen in this exhibition is a kind of visual and conceptual difference between the artworks displayed here. Some of these artworks reflect social, gender, and political issues. A part of Iran’s art scene has been attempting for many years to develop a visual similarity to Western contemporary art production and its strategies. This variety of accesses to art is reflected in the exhibition: On the one hand, some artists reflect their inner concerns in a variety of media. On the other hand, some artists exclusively reflect on one specific media and its traditions in Iran. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the exhibition mirrors a duality within contemporary art production: A self-reflective focus on art production in Iran and in Teheran, in particular, stands opposite alignment to Western art production and a global art market. In a sense, the exhibition “Speaking for Themselves” maps the socio-political situation in Iran between continuity of the Islamic revolution and an opening to the West.


Asieh Salimian

March 2019

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