Art And Culture

Tavakolian’s Photo Exhibit in Paris

Tavakolian’s Photo Exhibit in ParisTavakolian’s Photo Exhibit in Paris

A series of photos and video arts by Newsha Tavakolian was launched in Paris recently.

Time magazine, which published the collection, had sent her on a mission to photograph Rula Ghani, the first lady of Afghanistan and wife of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In 2015, Ghani was named on Time 100, a list of the world’s most influential people, published by Time magazine, Honaronline reported.

The latest collection by Tavakolian titled ‘The Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album’, is underway at Chapelle Building at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, France, and will run until June 7. The building, she said, “is allocated to the permanent exhibition of Michelangelo’s Etudes and rarely hosts photo exhibitions.”

Her photo series comprises 30 images and 7 video installations. The videos “blend in each other and the characters fade consecutively.” The 22-minute videos are displayed along with 30 complementary photos.

Pointing to the roots of the album, she said the theme of the collection refers to the cover of her childhood photo album. “The cover carried a picture of a mount surrounded by a vast tulip hill.” The picture “created childhood dreams” although life also showed “its other face to her.”

The videos contain some elements extracted from nature such as wind sound, water sound and the singing of birds. As the audiences get closer to the characters in the video, “the sound of nature fades and is replaced with the sounds of familiar everyday life.”

 Social Documentary

The photo collection “is seen as a social documentary showing the viewpoints of people from their neighborhood, workplace and hometowns.”

Her collection is also being displayed in Venice Biennale, a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years (in odd years) in Venice.

Tavakolian (born 1981 in Tehran) is an Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer. She has worked for Time Magazine, The New York Times, Le Figaro, and National Geographic. She is particularly known for focusing on women’s issues in her work, and is a member of the Rawiya women’s photography collective which she co-established in 2011. Rawiya, the first all-female photographic collective from the Middle East, tells the untold stories ‘of a region in flux.’

The exhibition ‘Realism in Rawiya’ reveals a group of female artists’ personal photographic insights into everyday life in the Middle East.

Tavakolian was part of the 2006 Joop Swart Masterclass organized by the World Press Photo. In 2007 she was a finalist for the Inge Morath Award. Her work has been exhibited and collected at institutions such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Somerset House, London (April 2014), where she was one of eight Iranian photographers featured in the critically acclaimed “Burnt Generation” exhibition.