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Ausstellung: 165 years of Iranian photography

Artistic direction: Anahita Ghabaian Etehadieh
Curators: Bahman Jalali, Hasan Sarbakhshian

For this 2nd edition of PHOTOQUAI, the musée du quai Branly is honouring Iranian photography in its West Mezzanine, amidst the permanent collections: the exhibition 165 years of Iranian photography gives an overview of Iranian photography from the end of the XIXth century, with the portraits from the Qajar era and the photo studios which appeared in Iran at the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi, up until the most contemporary works by major Iranian photographers.

The journey begins with a history of Iranian photography; at the end of the XIXth century, and continues up until the war images; the second part shows around thirty contemporary works by major Iranian photographers, artists or documentary makers who are currently working in Iran and abroad.

Around 30 years after the Islamic revolution, 20 years after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Iranian photography has established its place as a major trend in its genre.

Photography in Iran, which begins during the reign of the Shah in the Qajar era with portraits of the traditional aristocracy, is asserting itself with the work of photojournalists and documentary makers wishing to show the world the upheavals and dramas which have affected their people.

The images are often symbolic, always poetic in one sense, and reflect the very identity of Iranian people, their history and their way of apprehending the world.

Today, young artists are revisiting the codes of this medium, developing an artistic slant to photography or continuing the documentary work of their elders.

The curators

The two joint curators are two of the photographers who have made a success of Iranian photography and have allowed it to assert itself as a specific form.

  • Bahman Jalali has above all won renown for his photo montages inspired by the Qajar era, but has also worked on the consequences of the war.

  • Hasan Sarbhakshian is particularly known for his cutting photojournalism, at the heart of the riots and torments which his country has experienced.

Both of them are currently living and working in Tehran.

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