Being the first Iranian gallery exclusively dedicated to Iranian photography, Silkroad is considered the main hub for photography lovers from all walks of life in the Iranian capital. The gallery has been active showing the very vibrant and varied range of topics, elements and styles present in the Iranian photography to the public for the past 14 years. It has covered and presented a large spectrum of artists from all generations and backgrounds and has collaborated with many institutions, publications, museums and educational centres with the aim of promoting and educating the public through Iranian photography. For those interested in ‘image’, Silk Road is surely the main gateway to Iranian photography.
Since its establishment, the gallery has continuously emphasised on quality, themes and subjects and through its extensive list of projects and exhibitions has tried to convey a specific message: that Iranian photography is vast in context and hard to define thematically. The subjects focused on by the gallery’s artists convey this message easily; Works of Jalal Sepehr almost entirely focus on the aesthetical quality found in the Persian cultural and traditional elements and ornamentation. Ramyar and Ali’s works are almost entirely staged to tell tales of social frustrations. As a woman and a mother, Shadi Ghadirian has always been engaged in her quest to define gender roles and segregation within her homeland’s traditional yet modern contradictory society and Behnam Sadighi’s approach is a sociological one in which he uses his subjects, mainly people, to answer or to understand the underlying social behavioural questions and Tahmineh Monzavi has dedicated a large proportion of her career to record lives of the ‘voice-less’, the recluse and the rejected communities within the Iranian population.
In the eyes of the international media, Iranian photography has predominantly been defined to portray political dilemmas, subjects that have been over used and somewhat even abused. In this sort of climate, according to the director of the gallery, Anahita Ghabaian: world has missed on what Iranian photographers have achieved and the progressive pace it has evolved in dealing with what this society and culture has had in store for the creative thinkers. What the gallery aims to do is to be able to shift perceptions about how Iranian photography is been viewed around the world, to be able to change trends, to educate and to highlight topics fundamental for understanding the complex modern Iran, topics that ‘politics’ has long failed to even notice.
The upcoming major event curated by Anahita Ghabaian for the Carmignac Foundation, presents works by the 5th winner of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, the celebrated young Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian. In this series, the artist has focused on the feeling of claustrophobia experienced by the younger generation in Iran. Taking as their common thread the theme of a family photo album, her photographs depict young middle-class people caught between the contradictory pressures of an increasingly modern society and an Islamic revolutionary ideology. The show will be open to the public at the Chapelle des Beaux-Arts de Paris from May 13th to June 7th 2015.
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