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Exhibitions Listen

"Listen" exhibition by the iranian artist Newsha Tavakolian is one of the special projects of the 2012 edition of Film Middle East Now, a film festival, photography and events on the Middle East. The exhibition is hosted by the gallery otto luogo dell'arte of Olivia Toscani Rucellai, art director Mauro Lovi - Via Maggio, 13 / R - Florence

Coordination of the exhibition by Olivia Toscani Rucellai assisted by Anna K. Gargarian


The “Listen” project, for the first time shown in Italy, is Newsha Tavakolian’s endeavour to place her most recent work on the borderline between documentary photography and artwork, experimenting new forms of narration and representation.  The inspired and passionate facial expressions of famous Iranian singers are the centre of the first series of six large portrait photographs.  These women, in fact all women in Iran, are prohibited from performing solo in front of an audience or from producing solo CDs.  Another series of 6 portraits refers to Newsha’s childhood dream of becoming a famous singer.  The portraits become therefore an expedient to suggest intimate or collective stories, represent the ideal scenery for the covers of empty CDs.  Lastly, the video installation is the place where all these themes converge:  we see the singers victims on one hand of an assurd form of restriction, while on the other  there is the paradox of artistic synesthia.  (Silke Kurth)