An exhibition with eleven prominent Iranian photographers, who have united to support the Omid Foundations. The exhibition includes three signed limited edition photographs by each artist. This is a truly unique opportunity to purchase photographs of exceptional importance at prices which are significantly below market prices and at the same time supporting the work of the Omid Foundations.
Please do not copy or reproduce any of the images from this exhibition without written permission from the copyright holders. The copyright of each image belongs to the individual photographers.
We are most indebted for Omid Salehi for curating this exhibition, Malu Halasa for contributing her insightful remarks shown below, and most importantly to the eleven artists Mehrdad Asgari, Gohar Dashti, Hengameh Golestan, Amirali Ghasemi, Babak Kazemi, Mehdi Moghimnejad, Omid Salehi, Hasan Sarbaskhshian, Jalal Sepehr, Arman Stepanian, and Newsha Tavakolian.
Internationally renowned editor, journalist and art critic MALU HALASA on this exhibition:
Omid Salehi has brought eleven well known Iranian photographers together to create BEYOND DREAMS AND REALITY, an online exhibition for the benefit of the Omid Foundations. Salehi, whose own photographs are part of the exhibition, says that "Every one of these photographers shows different aspects of Iranian society. However, they interpret the real from a perspective that is entirely their own. That is why these pictures are unique and important."
As Susan Sontag theorises in On Photography, "The camera's rendering of reality must always hide more than it discloses." By divulging their very personal visions, the photographers of BEYOND DREAMS AND REALITY, reveal the rarely glimpsed aspects, emotions, colours and perspectives that have been shaping contemporary Iran.
Through photography, stitching and splattered oil paint, Babak Kazemi explores the unexpected beauty and familiarity of soldiers serving compulsory national service. Coffee shops are another recognizable scenario. Although Amirali Ghasemi would like to photograph the seemingly normal life that takes place in the capital's popular cafes, he brings an artistic solution to a problematic situation by blanking out the faces of customers. While Gohar Dashti who has photographed her generation's reaction to war provides a nuanced approach in images that explore civil strife within the domestic sphere.
Photography has always held a special place in Persian arts and culture. All the participating photographers in BEYOND DREAMS AND REALITY have been exhibited in galleries, many are known internationally. Some are established photojournalists like Newsha Tavakolian who began taking pictures at sixteen years old and has been published in The New York Times, Time magazine and Der Spiegel. Hasan Sarbakhshian is a prominent AP photographer who moved to the US in 2009. His arresting photographs of hundreds of women seeing off their husbands, brothers and sons to the Iran–Iraq War capture what seems to be a dark, geometrically inspired sorrow. However, there can be no greater evocation than the life that has passed away in the gravestone portraiture of Armenian Christians by Armand Stepanian.
There is a whimsical side to a country as deathly serious as Iran. The vividly hand-coloured photographs by Hengameh Golestan of rural villages around Khomein – the town where Ayatollah Khomeini was born – borders on pop art. Jalal Sepehr, from commercial advertising who was a founding member of the legendary Fanoos website, has created a intriguing series showing carpets, cleaned by cars or hanging like something magical that has the ability to fly between ancient cities – a timely reminder of the country's rich crafts history. The photographs of Medhi Moghimnejad investigate the modern relationship with nature through an ingenious play between older images and computer technology. Omid Salehi known for his in-depth character studies of Iranian life has included photographs that have choreography at their core, from modern dance to child buffalo herders.