New exhibitions

18th Street Arts Center

January 6, 2011

International Exhibitions at 18th Street Arts Center features artists from Iran, Tibet, Korea and South Africa

1639 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

www.18thstreet.org

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 from 7:30-9:30 pm, 18th Street Arts Center is proud to present four exhibitions highlighting their award-winning International Visiting Artist Program.

Working with the Aaran Gallery of Tehran, Iran and curator Nazilla Noebashari, 18th Street presents in its Main Gallery a provocative and groundbreaking exhibit, Postcards from Tehran.

Challenging barriers of political prejudice and cultural ignorance, the show will be the first Los Angeles exhibition of works by seven Iranian artists in conjunction with works by two well known artists from California whose families migrated from Iran. Postcards from Tehran is a unique view of contemporary Iranian artists whose challenging visual productions may prove to be eye-openers to many Americans whose main knowledge about Iran is typically derived from corporate cable news channels and State Department press releases. The artists include Arash Fayez, Siamak Filizadeh, Barbad Golshiri, Behnam Kamrani, Hadi Nasiri, Behrang Samadzadeghan, , and Jinoos Taghizadeh. They are joined in this group exhibition by Iranian-American artists Ala Ebtekar and Amitis Motevalli.

In speaking about Postcards from Tehran, Nazilla Noebashari says, “Enduring all vicissitudes of history, even the most severe, Persians have always been loyal to the ideal of beauty and perfection and found therein not only the redeeming answer to brutality, chaos and frustration but also a consolation, a sanctuary, and thereby delight and revelation.

The Persian legacy has endured, beyond Iran’s geographical borders though not overtly expressed, even when the voices of our poets were silenced and arts were suspended or suppressed, the current flowed on in the depths. Destined to flame again when conditions favored and genius summoned. Each revival has been a resumption of concepts that have persisted through repeated renewals.

In Iran today, the artists in general respect and honor their predecessors and perpetuate their work as conscientiously as the conditions permit. They are bonded to our land and it’s destiny. Isolation is not permitted; work has to go on despite scarcities, limitations and controls. They carry on in the same way that their ancestors have done for centuries, constantly aware of the legacy of a nation that has endured more than it’s share. Perhaps it’s this anonymity and humility, this level of social responsibility and integrity that has been the source of the merit of Persian arts and it’s limitless potentiality. Today in midst of another difficult period of our history there are signs that we can once again complete the triad; the true, the beautiful, the good. Persians are to prevail yet again.”

In a series of other debut exhibits that complement Postcards from Tehran, 18th Street is pleased to announce the Los Angeles debuts of Tibetan contemporary visual artists Tsering Nyandak and Norbu Tsering; South African performance artist Mlu Zondi; and South Korean artist Han Sungpil (with Yvette Gellis). Nyandak and Nortse’s representational and conceptual works counter romantic notions of Tibetan art as folkloric Buddhist evocations. South African performance artist Mlu Zondi, will present videos of his provocative performance work. And finally Han Sungpil will install his monumental outdoor mural entitled, “Open Water” in collaboration with Los Angeles painter Yvette Gellis.

18th Street’s international exhibitions are funded in part by the Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, the Africa Centre of Capetown, and the Asian Cultural Council.

18th Street Arts Center is a long time alternative arts organization based in Santa Monica, California, whose mission is to provoke public dialogue through contemporary art making. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Ronald Lopez at rlopez [​at​] 18thstreet.org, or go to www.18thstreet.org.