Watch the panel discussion for Gender and Exposure at Gallery 44: http://vimeo.com/gallery44/genderandexposure
Discourses about Middle Eastern art tend to be preoccupied by certain issues: femininity, the veil, gender disparity, religious tradition, and revolutionary conflict. This exhibition shifts the focus by considering the following themes: masculinity; female agency; secular activities (for example, café-culture, amateur wrestling, or extreme body building); Persian traditions; and the unique situation of Iran.
The artists communicate visual messages that are by necessity subtle and ambiguous. They use strategies such as metaphor and allegory, the blurring of boundaries between fiction and documentary, and the adoption of visual styles more typical of fashion, advertising, and graphic design. Understanding of Iranian art will differ depending on one’s knowledge of the country. However, works in this show also offer audiences an opportunity to abandon old assumptions and gain new insights about the culture.
Curator Andrea Fitzpatrick has conducted extensive research into Iranian culture and in 2010 traveled to Tehran to do field work. For this exhibition she has selected the works of Iranian artists Samira Eskandarfar, Amirali Ghasemi, Abbas Kowsari, Zeinab Salarvand, Arman Stepanian, and Sadegh Tirafkan, all of whom live and work in Tehran. Their images express the wit, elegance and sensitivity of the culture, and the individuality of the artists. Gallery 44 hopes that this exhibition will be a process of discovery for the viewer, and an exploration of artmaking as an increasingly important tool in international dialogues.
Amirali Ghasemi and Samira Eskandarfar will be coming to Toronto to present an artists' talk on Saturday May 5th and to connect with the Toronto art scene during the internationally celebrated Contact Photography Festival. We need your support to ensure we can cover our guests travel expenses.
Stephen Bulger Gallery, Camera, Gallery 44
A Featured Exhibition in the CONTACT Photography Festival http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/events/770
Samira Eskandarfar was born in Iran in 1980 and lives and works in Tehran. She studied ceramic engineering before going on to study filmmaking and finally took an MA in animation. Since 2003, she has made over ten videos from which two of her works were purchased by major public collections, including the Tate Modern in London and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK) in Berlin.
Andrea D. Fitzpatrick completed a PhD in contemporary art from McGill University in 2005. Since 2007, she has taught the history and theory of art at the University of Ottawa. The exhibition guest-curated for Gallery 44 is based on a month-long research trip she completed in Tehran in the summer of 2010, as well as years of prior research on Iranian culture. Her most recent essay, “Of Gesture, Erasure, and Exposure: Images of Text in Iranian Photographic Art,” was published in the Tehran-based journal Art Tomorrow (Vol. 5) and was translated into Persian.