The origins of Iranian modernity lie in the long 19th century, when cultural production was an act of resistance to colonialism through the production of a local, national culture. Throughout the 20th century, modern Iranian visual art both reflected and affected social and political currents.
Opening Remarks: Shiva Balaghi (Kevorkian Center, New York University) Introduction: Ehsan Yarshater (Columbia University)
Session One: Painting a New Iran
Chair: Priscilla Soucek (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Layla Diba (Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture) “Between Tradition and Modernity: Iranian Visual Arts of the Early 20th Century.” Dr. Diba will trace the sources of Iranian modernism in the visual arts of the late Qajar and early Pahlavi eras, examining court painting, popular culture, coffee-house painting, and the graphic arts.
Fereshteh Daftari (Museum of Modern Art, New York) “Highlights of Iranian Modernism.” A co-curator of the exhibition, Dr. Daftari will present an overview of the key artists in the show, delineating a history of modernism in Iranian art from the 1960s and ’70s.
Session Two: Screens, Streets, and Stages:
Image-Making in an Islamic Republic
Chair: Peter Chelkowski (Department of Middle Eastern Studies,
New York University)
Annabelle Sreberny (Center for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester, UK) “The Writings on the Wall: Examining the Ephemera of the Iranian Revolution.” Professor Sreberny’s lecture will explore a variety of artistic forms—stencils, graffiti, stamps—used during the revolution.
Hamid Naficy (Department of Art and Art History, Rice University) “Filmmakers as Poets and Intellectuals: the Case of Abbas Kiarostami.” Perhaps the most celebrated filmmaker in Iran today, Abbas Kiarostami is an artist who works in multiple media. Professor Naficy will examine Kiarostami’s work, bringing together selections from his films, photographs, and poetry.
Reception and Exhibition Viewing
Co-organized by the Kevorkian Center, the Grey Art Gallery, and the Center for Media, Culture and History, and co-sponsored by the Lillian Vernon Center for International Affairs, all at New York University, in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation.