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Soheila Sokhanvari

Rebel Rebel

Soheila Sokhanvari, Wild at Heart (Portrait of Pouran Shapoori), 2019

Rebel Rebel, the first major UK commission by Iranian artist Soheila Sokhanvari, celebrates and commemorates feminist icons from pre-revolutionary Iran.

Sokhanvari transforms the Curve into a devotional space, populated with exquisite miniature portraits of glamorous cultural figures from Iran. The project spotlights the rarely told histories of these women, who pursued creative careers in a culture enamoured with Western style but not its freedoms.

The immersive space will be hand-painted floor to ceiling with geometric patterns based on traditional Islamic design. A soundtrack, composed by Marios Aristopoulos features songs by iconic Iranian singers from the period. The exhibition culminates with extravagant mirrored sculptures featuring internal projections drawn from Filmfarsi.

With humour and verve, Rebel Rebel explores the contradictions of Iranian women’s lives between 1925 and the 1979 revolution – an explosive period of both liberation and commodification that proved short lived.

Tagged with: Art & design

The exhibition has been commissioned by the Barbican, and is generously supported by the Bagri Foundation, Arts Council England, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery and the Soheila Sokhanvari Exhibition Circle.

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