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Kabelitz, Franziska (2023) 'Displaying Iran In Berlin: Observations On (Missed?) Opportunities In Crisis.' The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research, 15 (2022-2023).

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Abstract

This article provides a critical review of the exhibition Iran: Five Millennia of Art and Culture, held at Berlin’s James-Simon-Galerie between December 2021 and March 2022. While its galleries provided a beautiful, respectful, and highly educational overview of the wider development of Persian material culture, the exhibition ultimately failed to deliver what was promised by its title, misleadingly conceptualising Iranian art and culture as unimportant after the mid-eighteenth century. Instead of taking advantage of the prestigious institutional network into which the exhibition was embedded in order to highlight the extraordinary level of resilience inherent in contemporary Iranian cultural production, Iran played into an unfavourable conceptualisation of a past golden age transitioning into an unilluminated present. This is particularly regretful in light of current global tendencies to define and assess Iranian cultural heritage and aspects of Iranian identity primarily on the basis of geopolitical arguments.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Iran, Persia, Germany, Berlin, exhibition, museum, archaeology, art history, review.
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Open Access Journals > The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research
ISSN: 25176226
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00040654
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2023 15:44
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40654

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