Unique Iranian Art Collection for First time in Berlin

Heres a festival which combines the specificity of local cultures with the openness of the globalized world

September 16th, 2016
Georgi Zografov, CD News

The bilateral and cultural relations between Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran are based on an intensive cultural exchange. This exchange is in the field of education and culture, research and innovation, international cooperation and development, humanitarian aid and regional issues. The cultural relations between Germany and Iran have been through different stages since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Today both countries want to open new opportunities for closer bilateral relations.

From 4th of December 2016 to 26th February 2017 the visitors and residents of Berlin will have the rare opportunity to get an insight into the art collection of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TmoCA). The collection contains artworks from the second half of the twentieth century and it was inaccessible for nearly 40 years.

This event is a significant cross-cultural project, because the National Gallery in Berlin will be the first international institution, which will present this special collection to the public. Furthermore, the exhibition has a significant role for cultural diplomacy and future partnership between Iran and Germany. 

The right by the TMoCA to exhibit its collection of artworks outside Iran has been granted due to the assistance of the German Foreign Office and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz). The exhibition is organised in cooperation between the Goethe-Institute, the Berlin International Film Festival, the CTM Festival (a music and visual arts festival), the Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin) and other partners.

The exhibition will contain the most important collection of the western artworks of the 20th century, which is outside Europe and North America. The collection is important because it will contain European and American paintings. They had been collected from the former Persian Empress Farah Diba Pahlavand after the Islamic Revolution and were kept under lock.

The collection is important for Iran, because it will culturally open the country to the rest of the world and will strengthen the local civil society. This exhibition will show that people from different cultures and nationalities can be united through the soft power of the arts.

The National Gallery in Berlin selected the works for the exhibition together with the Iranian side. The selection includes 60 artworks in total. These works include 30 European and North American paintings of the 20th century by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Francis Bacon and 30 works of the 1960s and 1970s of Iranian painters such as Faramarz Pilaram, Moghadam, Behjat Sadr, Mohsen Vaziri and other Iranian artists.

The exhibition’s programme will have a cultural, historical and contemporary context. It will feature works from the visual arts, film, music, literature, theatre, and philosophy, pointing out the perspectives and boundaries that shape the cultural creativity and life in Iran. The programme will also include philosophical discussions, which will investigate what it means to be “modern” in the Western and Iranian discourse.

After Berlin the exhibition will continue in Rome at the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts.


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