23.05.2023 - 08.09.2023

Lezioni di libertà

You are here: Podbielski Contemporary

Art+Design / mostra

5vie selection

physical event


Podbielski Contemporary

Via Vincenzo Monti, 12


14:30 - 19:00

Opening Monday, May 22, at the Podbielski Contemporary Gallery is the exhibition Lessons of Freedom - Notes for a Journey to Iran 1970-2023 curated by Rischa Paterlini. An exhibition intended to take a visual journey through Iran's present-day history through the selection of works by 12 contemporary artists:

Gabriele Basilico (Milan, Italy, 1944), Gohar Dashti (Ahvaz, Iran, 1980), Johanna Maria Fritz (Berlin, 1994). Shadi Ghadirian (Tehran, 1974). Peyman Hooshmandzadeh (Tehran, 1969), Shiva Khademi (Mashad, Iran, 1990), Beatrice Minda (Munich, 1968), Tahmineh Monzavi (Tehran, 1988), Antonella Monzoni (Modena, 1960), Shirin Neshat (Qazvin, Iran, 1957), Jalal Sepehr (Tehran, 1968), Shirana Shahbazi (Tehran, 1974).

Lessons of Freedom offers audiences an opportunity to discover a rich Iranian // perspective without social political and censorship boundaries. A source of inspiration for the curator was That Other World, Nabokov and the Enigma of Exile, a text by Azar Nafisi. In the same way that the author of the book decides to immerse herself and her students in the exploration of a new perception, Rischa Paterlini wants to transport visitors to a different dimension, one that encourages them to appreciate beauty even in the face of difficult situations *Why do we travel (if we travel)?" One of the artists in the exhibition, Gabriele Basilico, asks himself. 

The answer seems to belong to these lines: "Even danger, like anguish, brings us closer to being, embraces it. infuses us with terror. the common terror. of being about to lose it. This was not what I was looking for I wanted to begin to see what I would see, to encounter the dry, the unanswerable." What the artist is talking about, the non-answer, corresponds for us to making a journey back in time to 1979, the year of Khomeini's revolution, in which everything changes. The Islamic republic confiscates Iran's history and with it its traditions, its culture and the identity of each individual.

Each work in the exhibition gives us a snapshot of a complex reality that refuses to live by subterfuge. Starting with Shirin Neshat (Qazvin, Iran, 1957), an artist of absolute international renown, who-through the skillful use of poetic language-struggles to manifest the importance of women's rights. A path that runs through the powerful images of Shadi Ghadirian (Tehran, 1974), reflecting the relationship between modernization and tradition, and the documentary eye of Peyman Hooshmandzadeh (Tehran, 1969) regarding Iranian subcultures. We wander between the works of Shiva Khademi (Mashad, Iran, 1990) that recount the limitations imposed on her generation; between the fascinating carpets of Jalal Sepehr (Tehran, 1968) that transport us to Persia and the humanist reportage of Antonella Monzoni (Modena, 1960), deeply rooted in memory.

The exhibition continues to realities often placed on the margins of society, photographed by Johanna Maria Fritz (Berlin, 1994), a young photographer who narrates the magical world of the circus in Iran; as well as the photographs of Beatrice Minda (Munich, 1968) who offer her particular view on Iranian domestic life. While Tahmineh Monzavi (Tehran. 1988) tackles Iran's social and intergenerational conflicts, Gohar Dashti (Ahvaz, Iran, 1980) in her staged photographs brings back enchanting landscapes, while the birds depicted in artist Shirana Shahbazi's (Tehran, 1974) photograph, with wings unfurled in the wind, evoke the essence of freedom.