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Examining the relationship between revolutions and repression of art and artists, London-based curator Vali Mahlouji traces the socio-political situations that led to the Iranian Revolution and Islamic Revolution that saw artists of Farmanfarmaian’s generation seek political exile elsewhere.

After twenty-six years of exile following the Iranian revolution, the artist returned in Tehran in 2004 with her work receiving broad recognition and eventually institutional support. To better understand  Farmanfarmaian’s work, Mahlouji will examine her cosmopolitan, modernizing impulses and undisciplined return to tradition against the background of the cross-cultural, and emphatically transnational histories of art in the 1960s and 1970s. Her practice will be juxtaposed with and contrasted against  a set of prevalent discourses focused on the rediscovery, deconstruction and appropriation of native traditions in the immediate postcolonial period.

This Critical Response and Lecture is free of charge, but must be booked in advance.


About the Speaker

Vali Mahlouji is a London-based curator, founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade, independent advisor to the British Museum and director of Kaveh Golestan Estate. Mahlouji’s recent work includes exhibitions at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Whitechapel Gallery, Photo London, Prince Claus Fund, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Art Dubai Modern, Bergen Triennial, Open Eye Gallery and Dhaka Art Summit 2018. Read more about  Mahlouji’s advisory role with Art Dubai Modern here

Founded in 2010, Archaeology of the Final Decade (AOTFD) is a non-profit curatorial and educational platform, which researches histories of nations condemned by social displacement, cultural annihilation or deliberate disappearance. AOTFD engages with accounts of culture, which have been lost through material destruction, acts of censorship, political, economic or human contingencies. The research identifies, investigates and re-circulates significant cultural and artistic materials that have remained obscure, under-exposed, endangered, banned or in some instances destroyed. AOTFD materials have been acquired by Tate Modern, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Smithsonian Institute and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).For further more details here.


Further Information

Programmed in conjunction with the IMMA exhibition Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Sunset, Sunrise , this talk draws on aspects of Mahlouji’s ongoing research as relates Archaeology of the Final Decade (AOTFD). (AOTFD) is an ongoing non-profit curatorial and educational platform set up in 2010, which identifies, investigates and re-circulates significant cultural and artistic materials that have remained obscure, under-exposed, endangered, banned or in some instances destroyed. The retracing and reintegration of these materials into cultural memory and discourse, counteracts the damages of censorship and systemic erasures, and fills in gaps in history and art history.


About the Artist

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian  b.1924

Born in Qazvin, Iran in 1924, Monir’s distinguished career has spanned more than six decades. The artist attended the Fine Arts College of Tehran before becoming one of the first Iranian students to study in the United States after World War II. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1949 and then became a Member of the New York Art Students’ League (1950-53). — View Artist »