Stuttgart Art Exhibit Explores Changing Life in Iran

An art show underway at IFA Gallery in the German city of Stuttgart explores many aspects of changing life in Iran, the Institute for Foreign Relations (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen – IFA) has announced.

The exhibition, which opened on April 21, is showcasing polyptych light boxes by Iranian artist Dadbeh Bassir, video stills by Amsterdam-based Iranian artist Mehraneh Atashi and installations by Berlin-based Iranian artist Mona Hakim-Schuber.

The exhibition shows “traditional technologies, old legends and Persian poetry, looking at their significance in today’s social and political contexts and reflecting the transformation of traditional norms in a rapidly changing world,” IFA Gallery stated on its website.

“Both Iranian architecture and these artistic positions question seemingly binary categories of past and present, tradition and modernity, seeking to combine them and make them productive for the future.”

The exhibition also includes “Instant Past”, which forms a section for Iranian architecture and provides an update of the presentation made for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.

This section examines different buildings in Iran undergoing modernization over the last century, after a process of refurbishment and reinterpretation of historical heritage had been initiated.

A video by Khosro Salarian and Sina Ahmadi juxtaposes “images of two formal idioms, Persian and modern”. Old bowls from ceramic water pipes are woven together in a net to form an installation that combines traditional elements and contemporary patterns.

IFA Visual Department Ursula Zeller and the ministerial director of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg, Claudia Rose, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony of the exhibition entitled “Giving Yesterday a Tomorrow… Iran: Architecture and Art”, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Thursday.

“Iran is a land with millennia of high culture that has a population of 80 million, most of whom are young, educated people,” Zeller said.

She emphasized the need for expanding cultural relations with Iran and said it would also help Iran and Germany increase their economic ties.

Rose called Iran a stable country that needs to reconstruct its economy and added, “German companies have announced their readiness provide what Iran needs in this way.”

The exhibition will run until July 3.

Photo: A light box from Dadbeh Bassir’s series “Tehran”