Search'Bahar Behbahani: Let the Garden Eram Flourish' on Display at the Hood Museum of Art

'Bahar Behbahani: Let the Garden Eram Flourish' on Display at the Hood Museum of Art...
broadwayworld.com 11/01/2017 Arts

Keywords:#African, #Broadwayworld.com, #Brooklyn, #CIA, #Collective, #Coup, #Iran, #Iranian, #January, #Media, #Mohammad_Mosaddegh, #Mosaddegh, #New_York, #Persian, #Persian_architecture, #Saturday, #Shanghai

Bahar Behbahani: Let the Garden Eram Flourish at the Hood Museum of Art, presents a suite of new paintings, an installation, and a video from Persian Gardens-an ongoing series begun four years ago by Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Bahar Behbahani. On view at Hood Downtown through March 12, 2017, the show is organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, and supported by the Evelyn A. J. Hall Fund and the Cissy Patterson Fund. Opening events on January 12 - 14 include a members' night, receptions with the artist, as well as a public conversation between the artist and the exhibition's curator, Hood Curator of African Art Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi.
Behbahani's layered vocabulary draws upon schematic architectural plans, ritual geometry, and the ornate aesthetics of the gardens, as well as the poetry they evoke, to convey rich and complex narratives. An engineering tour de force, Persian or Iranian gardens have captured human imagination since their emergence in the sixth century BCE. These walled gardens comprise multilateral structures, connecting aqueducts, networks of water channels, and surrounding trees and vegetation that remain lush all year in the middle of the desert. Behbahani explores the intersection of politics and poetics that defines the gardens as contested spaces-objects of beauty that have attracted people from different walks of life throughout the ages, from the Persian rulers who created them to evoke their transcendence and political power, to the diplomats, common folk, scholars, and soldiers who have sought out their orientalist enchantment.
Haunted by the spirits of fierce power play, the gardens are marked by tragedy, love, betrayal, death, and redemption, and are thus a metaphor for Iran's fraught histories, past and present. Works in the exhibition are also personal and cathartic. They enable Behbahani to resolve her conflicted emotions and make peace with the late Donald Wilber, a scholar of Persian architecture and gardens who was also a CIA secret agent. Wilber was the purported mastermind of a 1953 military coup in Iran that ousted democratically elected, beloved, and pro-national prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. This singular mid-century event reshaped Iran's modern history and continues to impact the present.
Let the Garden Eram Flourish runs concurrently with Behbahani's highly acclaimed installation at the Shanghai Biennale Why Not Ask Again? - Maneuvers, Disputations & Stories, curated by Raqs Media Collective (running through March 12, 2017), and following her solo show Garden Coup at Thomas Erben Gallery, New York-which received critical acclaim from Hyperallergic.
EVENTS + DATES + TIMES
Exhibition Dates: January 5 - March 12, 2017
Public Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 2017, 7-9pm
Artist Talk CONVERSATIONS AND CONNECTIONS: An Afternoon with Artist Bahar Behbahani: Saturday, January 14, 2017, 2-3pm

---Bahar Behbahani: Let the Garden Eram Flourish at the Hood Museum of Art, presents a suite of new paintings, an installation, and a video from Persian ---
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