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ART IRAN - Falling Into Language

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Catalogue for Craft Contemporary's 2024 exhibition, ART IRAN: Falling into Language.

ART IRAN: Falling into Language presents nine diaspora Iranian artists who engage diverse forms of the Persian alphabet, handwriting, text, and fragments as a way to remain connected to their cultural inheritance and form an essential part of their artistic practice. Through the use of Persian script in painting, geometric patterning, and installation, the artists maintain a solid relationship to the Persian language as a visual and symbolic component to longing for a homeland and unity beyond borders.

Throughout, political upheavals affect the diaspora and notions of identity. Despite their efforts, assimilation is never complete; all these artists remain foreigners worldwide. However, what they bring into this new state of alienation might ultimately describe a different kind of cosmopolitanism—precisely because it belongs nowhere, it is at home everywhere. The text in these works is not necessarily there to be read. It is instead there to be seen. In many ways, the audience’s inability to read these letters captures the in-between state that is the artists’ daily reality. In Persian culture’s relationship to the written language, written words are often conflated with the senses and are not purely a matter of intellect.  

Exhibition artists: Parastou Forouhar, Taraneh Hemami, Hadieh Shafie, Maryam Palizgir, Shadi Yousefian, Neda Moridpour, Pouya Afshar, Elnaz Javani, and Golnar Adili. 

Craft Contemporary, 2024, softcover, 8.5 x 10 in, 62 pages.