Shirin Neshat: Facing History

Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Shirin Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice.
In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat (Iranian-American, b. Qazvin, 1957) examines the nuances of power and identity in the Islamic world—particularly in her native country of Iran, where she lived until 1975.


Included are the “Women of Allah” photographs that catapulted the artist to international acclaim in the 1990s; lyrical video installations, which immerse the viewer in imagery and sound; and two monumental series of photographs, The Book of Kings, 2012, and Our House Is on Fire, 2013, created in the wake of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring.
Commenting on freedom and loss, Neshat’s deeply humanistic art is at once personal, political, and allegorical.
“Facing History” runs through September 20, 2015. At Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian located at Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW 

Works of Photographer and Architect Alireza Jahanpanah

While travelling across Iran in urban and rural areas searching out indigenous and historical living spaces for a research project, architect and photographer Alireza Jahanpanah became interested in the beautiful and unique door knockers he encountered. The knockers, which are used to create a sound that sends a simple message from the outside in, came to represent a poetic expression of people, architecture, culture, and history.
Jahanpanah has researched the forging methods and designs utilized and will share the unique cultural and historical identity of door knockers as a nation’s relics plus the small part they play in Iran’s cultural heritage. Historically, men and women had separate knockers with different aesthetic characteristics and designed to produce a distinct sound which allowed the inhabitants to determine a visitor’s gender.
Jahanpanah is showing a selection from his collection of more than 2,500 photographs of Iranian door knockers, and two actual antique knockers. Jahanpanah was born in Tehran, Iran, and migrated to Canada in 2009.
On display at until July 4 at Seymour Art Gallery located at 4360 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Workshops on Iranian Art

Carnegie Museum of Art: Explore Iran’s rich cultural and artistic history with Soude Dadras, visiting scholar in the department of history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. Each session will focus on one of four art forms deeply rooted in Persian history—carpets, ceramics, architecture, and calligraphy and painting. Discover the origins of these artistic practices; the meanings of commonly found motifs and symbols; the similarities and differences among types and styles; the materials and techniques unique to each practice; and their cultural significance for contemporary Iranian artisans and art enthusiasts from around the world.
About the speaker


Visiting Iranian arts scholar Soude Dadras specializes in the history of Iranian hand-weaving including Persian carpets of which she is a practitioner. Her ongoing research includes Ancient Iranian Portraits and the Goddess Sculpture in Ancient Persia. She was resident carpet expert at the Iranian Carpet Museum in Tehran and was a founder and board member of the Carpet Society at Islamic Azad University. She has lectured extensively on the history of Iranian art at international locations including the Kyoto City International Foundation in Kyoto, Japan.
Wednesdays, July 22–August 12 (4 sessions) or Saturdays, July 25–August 15 (4 sessions).

Heart of Persia Festival

Live Nation presents the Heart of Persia Festival featuring Siavash Ghomayashi, Sattar, Mansour, Omid, Sheila, Farshid Amin, Helen and more at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (formerly Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Drive) in Irvine on Aug. 26. The day long festival will highlight the best in Persian music and culture with live performances, traditional dancers, Persian food, a vendor village and more. Tickets are $16.75-$74.85 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at 800-745-3000 or at Ticketmaster website.

Portals Connecting People Globally

Portals, a series of audiovisual installations in several cities around the world, was created by recent Yale Law School graduate and artist Amar Bakshi to bring people who would not otherwise meet together in the same simulated room. The containers have hosted musical performances, guest speakers and even family reunions.


Since the project’s launch in December through the traveling artist collective Shared Studios, Portals have cropped up in a handful of cities in the United States and abroad. In Washington, visitors can connect with people in three locations: Tehran, Havana and Herat, Afghanistan.
The Shared Studios website explains:
“Portals are gold shipping containers that offer immersive audio-visual technology inside. When you enter one, you come face-to-face with someone in another container live, full-body, and the two of you converse as if in the same room.
“Visitors enter Portals one-at-a-time and carry on a private conversation with a person in the other location. Translators at one side or the other are available to assist as needed. All interactions in the Portal are private and not recorded unless both sides wish otherwise. Recorded sessions can be broadcast live and/or posted online. The Portal can be used for off-hours reservations for longer stretches of time, enabling artists, students, or academics to converse or collaborate.”
Currently, the U.S. portal has been on one end of each conversation, but in the future, the organizers hope that the other portals will be able to connect with each other — Herat to Tehran, Havana to Herat, Tehran to Havana — and that they can add many more hubs around the world. For now, they’re focusing on streaming an Iranian music performance in Tehran next week through the D.C. portal’s doors to an American audience.
Also on the website is information on how to host a portal in your city. As of now the portals have a waiting list of over 200.