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Iran Contemporary


The pictures at this exhibition offer insights into areas of life and social conditions in Iran to which outsiders are normally not privy. They range from the everyday changes to Tehran’s urban landscape to living conditions within Iranian middle-class families, which are private and therefore beyond the control of the state, to photographs of people who escape into a parallel world. Stunning anonymous street portraits by Bahram Shabani depict the frame of mind of commuters as they pour into the city centre of Tehran from the suburbs; Navid Reza Haghighi for his part explores the way in which public life plays out in Tehran’s parks and green spaces.
In her work entitled “There Are No Homosexuals in Iran“, Laurence Rasti uses symbolically charged portraits to highlight the precarious situation of people with same-sex sexual orientations, which carry the threat of severe punishment. Behnam Sadighi accompanies young people along lonely beaches where, in small groups, they can be completely among themselves, unobserved. Showcased in dramatic lighting against the backdrop of urban architecture, the staged portraits of Newsha Tavakolian show how, in Iran too, modern lifestyles tend to divide individuals as much as they unite them. And while Hannah Darabi draws on everyday life in Tehran for her photographic narratives, Farzane Ghadyanloo focuses on the chaotically affectionate family gatherings in her own house.

Laurence Rasti, from the series: “There Is No Homosexual in Iran“, 2014, Pigment Print, 65 x 80 cm
Bahram Shabani, from the series: “City Portrait“, 2011, Pigment Print, 60 x 90 cm