Update: Tehran Modern


Two visitors look at Warhol’s Mao Zedong in Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Photograph: Kaveh Kazemi/Corbis

A sharp correspondent reveals how vulnerable one is to false projection: not unlike the line taken by The Guardian in 2007 (the source of the image above). But apparently the pile of modern art collected by the Pahlavis has just been on show Рfor the second time. And hardly a reflection of an era of liberalism! One could have argued this in relation to its first showing during the time of President Khatami  Рbut now? The contradictions are salutory.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Maryam on 08.18.09 at 1:27 am

I remember the first time that the collection went on show. I don’t remember the exact date but I was in Iran at the time and it was during Khatami’s presidency, when the arts and the press were working under Khatami’s agendas of freedom of expression and freedom of press. I went to the show, and do remember that the collection on display was large enough to cover the whole nine galleries in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. How is that? I, an Iranian woman living in the West, have seen the entire Western collection which, according to the Guardian, is “the art no one sees” due to being “locked away” from the hungry Western eyes!… So, obviously I was surprised when I saw and heard in the video (attached above) that the collection has been shown “selectively” to only a few foreigners (don’t blame me, I can’t get over it!! How about we leave the “Iranian regime” side of the story aside for a minute and contemplate WHY such either poorly researched or obviously biased, propagandistic items get published in the Western media?)… Even though, freedom of expression and the press now has a totally different meaning under the Ahmadinejad administration, nonetheless I’m delighted to see the works were back on display. Maybe someone should have suggested to the Guardian journalist to go and be one of those “too few” foreigners who have been lucky enough to have seen “the best Jackson Pollock outside the US” etc…

And just some thoughts (thanks to the title of the Guardian article!)… “The art that no one sees”! What is the kind of art or art collection that can only be appreciated when it is “seeable”? Despite the fact that the Islamic Republic has been very cautious in regards to showing these “Western” works of art, I think the very fact that the Government has no intention of “selling” this art is a much smarter question to think and write about than the “see-ability” of this collection of art!

There you go… a very first-hand experience with this “decadent,” “locked away” Western contemporary art!!

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