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Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

3930112078_c40656854a_b-iHaggerty Museum of Art, through Jan. 17, 2010
Milwaukee, WI

An exhibition of more than 60 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers. The exhibition gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, while simultaneously addressing public concerns.


Iran has long distinguished itself with the spectacular quality and international presence of its visual art and film. With the backdrop of increasing attention given to the art and culture of Iran and the current political crisis in that part of the world, an exhibition with this focus is most timely. In expressing their many different visions of their world, these artists offer a look at private and public realms. Their perspectives contradict the way many foreign photographers typically capture Iran on film as purely exotic.

TV series 1- The Light Is Out The Room Is Dark BY:Mehran Mohajer

TV series 1- The Light Is Out The Room Is Dark BY:Mehran Mohajer

Shokoufeh Alidousti offers self-portraits and family photographs exploring cultural and female identity. Esmail Abbasi draws on Persian literature for his subject matter with contemporary notes on the present circumstances in Iran. Shahriar Tavakoli focuses on his family history through a series of portraits capturing the subtleties and mood of the Iranian family. In Koroush Adim’s Revelation series, the images in the exhibition that feature the veil acknowledge this sign of culture, but the “revelation” is anything but simple. Shahrokh Ja’fari’s use of unusual spacial rendering in depicting the veiled figure demands that the viewer look harder and think harder about what can be revealed through the visual.

Persepolis  BY: Sadegh Tirafkan

Persepolis BY: Sadegh Tirafkan

The images presented in Persian Visions cannot entirely surmount the physical and cultural distance between Iran and the United States. Nevertheless, the exhibition builds a visual bridge that allows for differences, even as it leads viewers to new awareness of other ways of being and seeing.

Revelations  BY: Koroush Adim

Revelations BY: Koroush Adim

Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota and toured by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C. This exhibition is supported in part by grants from the ILEX Foundation; the University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment; and the Department of Art and Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota.

Image-of-Imagination  BY: Bahman Jalali

Image of Imagination BY: Bahman Jalali

Untitled  BY: Ahmad Nateghi

Untitled BY: Ahmad Nateghi

My Family BY: Shahriar Tavakoli

My Family BY: Shahriar Tavakoli

Untiltled BY: Arman Stepanian

Untiltled BY: Arman Stepanian


Haggerty Museum of Art
Free admission
Open daily: Monday-Saturday