Artist: Dariush Nehdaran

NEW YORK, NY | Roya Khadjavi Projects is pleased to present Amphibology, an anthology of works by the Iranian-born photographer Dariush Nehdaran, opening May 10,2018 at Elga Wimmer Gallery and on view through May 23. While Nehdaran has exhibited his work across the United States, this is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition features 40 works across seven distinct series of the Nehdaran’s photographs and video, spanning a period of over fourteen years, photographed in Iran and beyond.

“Amphibology” indeed defines all seven series of monochrome works—each is equivocal in nature. The often blurred, distorted and rotated images are not only intriguing compositional elements, but draw on the artist’s personal history; suffering poor eyesight as a child, it was only through the camera lens itself that Nehdaran was able to experience vision in full focus. 

As Maryam Ekhtiar, Associate Curator of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art states, “Nehdaran’s photographs invite the viewer to see the world through the lens of the camera and to experience its physicality from his unique vantage point. But beyond the compositional and aesthetic characteristics, each one embodies a sense of ambiguity, unsettling uncertainty and acute loss that keeps the viewer in limbo." 

The anthology presents the beginnings of the artist’s experimental works through to the development of his current work and large-scale video installations. Early work such as The Life of Shadows series (2011) photographed in Iran, juxtaposes elongated shadows of passersby with iconic historical architecture and monumental carpets in Iran. As Ekhtiar sets out, “the placement of these elements at discordant angles or their rotation within the composition elicits feelings of displacement, disorientation and longing for connection. The same approach is found in all his series…The haunting shadows and dissonant angles…have become his signature.” The Life of Rope series (2013) continues to juxtapose such perspectives, constructing the artist’s “fine line” between reality and that of a dream, presenting the viewer with his distinctive unsettling uncertainty. The Stopper series (2017) plays with focus and rotation, layering the image itself, the stopper object and the opaque background and reflections as a parallel universe. Amphibology also includes a large scale immersive installation The Life of Shadows, whereby the viewer creates his or own life form on video loop, offering a parallax view of his/her subjectivity and consciousness. 

About the artist

Dariush Nehdaran (b. 1984 in Isfahan, Iran; lives and works in San Francisco). Nehdaran received his BFA in Painting from the Elm and Farhang University, Tehran in 2007 and is recognized among Iranian photographers who have moved to the United States in the last few years. Solo exhibitions of his work include Shadows of the Tenderloin, Smash Gallery, San Francisco (2016), Ettelaat, Shokouh Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2012); Urban Rivers, Iran Art Organization, Tehran, Iran (2008) and Contemporary Portrait, Khark Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2007). Group exhibitions and biennials featuring his work include If So What, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco (2018); Bienal del Sur, Pueblos en Resistencia, Caracas, Venezuela (2018); Artnet Auctions, Advocartsy, Los Angeles (2016); Art Brief Il: Iranian Contemporary North America, Arena 1 Gallery, Los Angeles (2016); Ordibesht Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2016); Ark Art Gallery, San Jose (2015); By Iranian Contemporary Photographers, Mellat Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2013); Image of the Year Festival, Iran Art Organization, Tehran, Iran (2016-2018, 2010-2014); Text Me, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2012); Centrefold 8, London, England (2012);  Magic of Persia, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE (2012); 12th Iranian National Biennial of Photography, Tehran and Yazd, Iran (2012); 3rd Photos of Women and Urban Life Festival, Iran Art Organization, Tehran, Iran; Shirin Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2012); Katara Art Center International Video and Digital Art Festival, Doha, Qatar (2011); Contemporary Art Prize Finalist, Royal College of Art, London, England (2011); Noor Festival, Iran Art Organization, Tehran, Iran (2011); Hamghadam Festival, Sorbonne University, Paris, France (2010); 10th Iranian Photo Biennial, Saba Cultural Center, Tehran, Iran (2006). His work is in numerous international private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Armando Reverón Contemporary Art Museum, Caracas, Venezuela; The Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE; and the Didi Museum, Mazandaran, Iran. 

Nehdaran has received several awards including The International Nikon Photo Contest (2015); the Hamghadam Photo Festival, Sorbonne University, Paris, France (2010); the 7th Image of the Year Festival, Iran Art Organization, Tehran, Iran (2010).

About Roya Khadjavi Projects

Roya Khadjavi is an independent curator and cultural producer based in New York. She has largely focused on the work of young Iranian artists working both in Iran and beyond its borders, seeking not only to support their artistic endeavors but to facilitate awareness and cultural dialogue between artistic communities. She organized the warmly received Strappa: Dialogue and Performance (2016) followed by Iran x Cuba: Beyond the Headline, bringing together 18 Cuban and Iranian artists together for the for the time in New York. She curated Prestige (2017), the first solo exhibition for the Afghan/Iranian artist Shamsia Hassani, followed by Red Room 2: Migratory Birds showcasing the individual and collaborative painting and sculpture by the Ghasemi Brothers, and Masks, a solo exhibition by Ali Kourehchian. Khadjavi co-curated Portraits: Reflections by Emerging Iranian Artist (2014), featuring emerging artists born, raised or educated in Iran and Between Invitation and Intrusion: A Conversation in Form (2015). Since 2008, she has actively led exhibition committee efforts around the art of the middle east in particular for major New York institutions including the Guggenheim Museum and the Asia Society, where she most recently sat on the steering committee of the critically acclaimed exhibit Iran Modern (2013).  Khadjavi co-founded the Institute of International Education’s Iran Opportunities Fund and currently serves as President of the Board of the New York-based non-profit Art in General. For her pioneering efforts to advance, support, and promote international education she has been honored with the Women’s Global Leadership Award by the Institute of International Education, and an Order of Academic Palms (Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques), by the French Minister of Education. 


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