Saved events

Soheila Sokhanvari

Rebel Rebel

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 Free

The exhibition has been commissioned by the Barbican, and is generously supported by the Bagri Foundation, Arts Council England, and the Soheila Sokhanvari Exhibition Circle: Marie Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (Spirit Now London), Sayeh Ghanbari, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Elizabeth and J. Jeffry Louis, Pat and Pierre Maugüé, Hugh Monk, and those who wish to remain anonymous. Paint courtesy of Little Greene.


Bagri Foundation logo

With thanks

Arts Council England logo
Little Greene logo
‘Most beautiful exhibition installation of the year‘
The Times
‘A celebration of lost culture‘
Time Out
‘Beautiful exhibition‘
The Guardian
‘Beautiful, impactful and timely‘
‘A fabulous installation – seductive, engrossing‘
Financial Times
‘A feast for the senses‘
BBC Sounds
‘Visually dazzling show‘


See more art for less

Visit upcoming exhibitions including Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Francis Alÿs, again & again, for free

The Curve