Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

January 25 - May 20, 2012
East Gallery

The universal appeal of art is powerfully mediated both by the culture producing it and by the culture in which it is received. Of all the art forms, the medium of photography delivers detailed specifics that make cultural differences all the more interesting. The artistry presented in this exhibition is crafted by some of the most renowned and articulate photographers of Iran. Its fortunate arrival (in the U.S.) is most timely because of our growing interest in - and distance from - the breathtaking beauty of the Islamic arts.

Gary Hallman, Co-Curator and Associate Professor
Department of Art, University of Minnesota


Iran has distinguished itself with the spectacular quality and international presence of its film and visual arts. Given the backdrop of attention increasingly focused on the art and culture of Iran, and the current political crisis in that part of the world, an exhibition of this kind is most timely.

Persian Visions introduces nearly 60 works of photography and video by 20 of Iran's most celebrated photographers. The perspective of these artists contradicts that of many foreign photographers use of the medium - which is to represent Iran and its people as purely exotic. In expressing different visions of their world, the artists offer a glimpse into both private and public realms. This exhibition builds a visual bridge between Iran and the United States as it leads viewers to become aware of other ways of being and seeing.

A complementary photography exhibition in the adjacent gallery, Imagining the Islamic World, provides a visual counterpoint to the contemporary photographs on view in this exhibition.

Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran, and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota, and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

This exhibition was made possible in part by the ILEX Foundation, University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment, and the Department of Art, Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota. At the Fleming Museum, we are grateful for the generous support from the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Endowment Fund.


>> Download a pdf version of the Exhibition Catalog published by International Arts and Artists.