Focus Iran is a series of biennial exhibitions that features distinctive perspective about Iran through photography and video works. (CAFAM)

January 26, 2019

The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation present the juried exhibition Focus Iran 3: Contemporary Photography and Video.

Focus Iran is a series of biennial exhibitions that features distinctive perspective about Iran through photography and video works.

This year’s theme puts a lens on Iranian youth culture. An international panel of jurors selected forty-two photographs and videos that will be displayed in a group exhibition from January 27 to May 12, 2019, with an opening reception to take place on January 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The exhibition will continue to the University of California, Irvine’s Viewpoint Gallery from October 5 to November 5, 2019. The artists selected for the exhibition reside mostly in Iran or the United States, with some residing in countries such as Canada, France, Italy, and Portugal.

Each were selected for their multi-faceted and intriguing views into young Iranians and how they navigate their lives. Some portraits reveal personal style or street fashion, while others show time spent participating in leisure activities such as sport or music. Other works explore queer identity and gender representations, as well as the relationship that youth have with religion, family, and the state.

The top three cash prize winners are a photograph by Hushidar Mortezaie and Jiyan Zandi ($3,000); a video work by Labkhand Olfatmanesh and Gazelle Samizay ($2,000); and a photograph by Milad Karamooz ($1,000).

The jury panel consisted of prominent Iranian photographers Mehrdad Afsari, Babak Tafreshi, and Maryam Zandi; Iranian cinematographer and director Seifollah Samadian; the J. Paul Getty Museum’s associate curator of photography Amanda Maddox; Iranian gallerist and educator Aria Eghbal; and CAFAM exhibitions curator Holly Jerger.

The other selected artists are Pouya Afshar, Mahsa Alikhani, Farzad Ariannejad & Shaghayegh Marzban, Ali Bagheri, Parna Baharali, Bahar Behbahani, Linda Dorigo, Mozhgan Erfani, Maryam Firuzi, Maseeh Ganjali, Anahid Ghorbani, Payam Ghorbani, Milad Haddadiyan, Bahador Hadizadeh, Hamed Heydari, Changiz Jalayer, Babak Kanaani, Mehdi Kazemi Boomeh, Ghazaleh Keshavarz, Fatemeh Khajehnouri, Reza Khodayar, Saman Khosravi, Sanaz Khosravi, Hamed Kolahchian Tabrizi, Sheida Koufigar, Negar Latifian, Seyed Shahabeddin Montazeri, Mona Morsi, Parham Pashaei, Ehsan Rahimpour, Maryam Rassapour, Arash Rod, Reza Rohani, Samira Roostaie, Hadi Safari, Farzad Shad, Majid Shahrabi, Ghazal Sheei, Sepideh Salehi & Kamran Taherimoghaddam, and Morteza Teimouri.

“This year’s work is the strongest to date as the focus on youth culture has opened a door to imagination and social reporting that combines the fresh and ancient in an extraordinary way,” says CAFAM executive director Suzanne Isken.

“Focus Iran 3 is bringing to Los Angeles the vibrant energy of Iranian youth; a lot of uncertainty about their future, but still hopeful, fun, progressive, and ready to be a part of the larger global village,” says Amirali Angha, chair of the Farhang Foundation Fine Arts Council.

An opening reception for Focus Iran 3: Contemporary Photography and Video will take place at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.