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.
(press release from

“Facing History” runs through September 20, 2015. At Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian located at Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW 

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 the Ticketmaster website.

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.