Within a hair’s breadth. Iranian contemporary photography



15TH OF JUNE 2023 – 20TH OF JANUARY 2024 (European Parliament)

The second part of the project presents aspects of contemporary Iranian photography through more than 20 artists in two venues – Apollonia Venue and the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Co-curator : Jamal Arabzadeh

Artists: Mohammad ABBASI, Kiarang ALAEI, Mahsa ALIKHANI, Hamidreza AMIRIMATIN, Amirbahador BAYAT, Najla DADBAR, Maryam DASHTI, Negin FIROOZI, Maryam FIRUZI, Shadi GHADIRIAN, Majid HOJATI, Babak KAZEMI, Morteza KHATIBZADEH, Sahar KHAZAEI, Alireza MEMARIANI, Saba NIKNAM, Saba SAFAEI, Ali SOOTEH, Abbas VAHEDI, Fereshte ZAMANI, Kaveh ZOHDI

Fereshte ZAMANI

If we consider the exhibition “Within a Hair’s Breadth” as a small but expressive selection of contemporary photography in Iran, it may provide an important clue to understanding the current state of photography in Iran and its complex relationship with the reality of the country. Iran has witnessed significant political, social, cultural, and civil transformations in the past two centuries, and photography has played a valuable role in reflecting and representing these changes. Therefore, it is quite obvious that documentary photography is the oldest, most essential, and richest tradition of photography in Iran.

However, with Iran’s integration into globalization and the widespread dissemination of modern and contemporary art principles, the language of photography for the new generations of practitioners is not limited to documentary expression alone, and various genres and emerging styles have also been tested in Iranian photography. In this exhibition, we encounter a range of works from objective and subjective documentaries to directorial and staged photography, manipulated photographs, photomontages, and handmade prints.

Kiarang ALAEI

On the other hand, if we agree with the philosophy of John Searle that the world is constructed around two levels of reality, the Brute facts (objective and physical) and the Institutional facts (latent and conventional), we may be able to have a better understanding of this exhibition. The complex social realities of Iranian society are more difficult than can be solely expressed through straight photography and mere representation. It is precisely here that we can consider the diversity of tone and subject matter in the photographers of this exhibition as a key point for creative interpretations and delve deeper into the essence beyond the surface of reality.

Text by Mehdi Moghimnejad, member of Faculty of Tehran University of Art (TUA)
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