What if Not Exotic?

What if Not Exotic? Critical Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art is a group exhibition of artworks from 23 Iranian artists. This exhibition is an attempt to present a realistic image of contemporary Iranian art— as an alternative to the common Neo-Orientalist representations of the “Middle Eastern” art in general and Iranian art in particular— in Western art markets.

All the selected works maintain deep and significant connections to their socio-political context that fall beyond clichés and common expectations. In other words, they have not resorted to predictable and predetermined subject matters and visual elements to question their current political situation. In fact, these are pieces that have experiential aspects related to real limitations that artists face on a personal and professional level. Therefore, dialogue between these works and the artists’ lived context is a complex interwoven one that affects different aspects of the process: from the artists’ choice of media to the size and the color palette, and from the style and formal language, to the subject matter. The exhibition is arranged in four main sections. In each section, a significant and emblematic aspect of Iranian art and life are examined: Public Spheres, Private Interiors, The body; from defiance to deformation, and Memory; from Personal to Collective.

Artists: Farah Abolghasem, Ghazale Baniahmad, Afshin Chizari, Aria Eghbal, Farzane Ghadyanloo, Parisa Ghaderi, Farhad Kalantary, Mohammad Khalili, Morteza Khosravi, Ramyar Manouchehrzadeh, Laleh Memar Ardestani, Samane Motallebi, Ali Nadjian, Nasrin Najafi, Nikzad Nodjoumi, Nazanin Norouzi, Behnam Sadighi, Kolsoum Salehi, Shaya Shahrestani, Omid Shalmani, Rosita Sharafjahan, Foroozan Shirghani, Maryam Tabatabaei

Curated by: Aria Eghbal and Mahsa Farhadikia

Coordinated by: Erit Majdipour

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9, 5-8 PM

November 9- December 10, 2019

Presented by: Building Bridges Art Exchange

Address: 2525 Michigan Ave f2, Santa Monica, CA 90404