In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art

(Los Angeles—February 22, 2018) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art, a groundbreaking exhibition of both historical and contemporary Iranian works that highlight ways in which artists have used and continue to use the past as a metaphor for the present day. This notion is revealed in art and literature in which ancient kings and heroes are used in later contexts as examples of virtue or as objects of derision, while long-gone Shi‘ite saints are evoked as champions of the poor and the oppressed. Particularly timely to American audiences is the exhibition’s exploration of how Iranian artists negotiate the politically charged issues of governance and faith in creating objects both novel and relevant.

The exhibition examines this appropriation of the past, largely in the context of the present, through 125 works of art in a variety of media including photography, painting, sculpture, video, posters, political cartoons, animation, and historical illustrated manuscripts. More than 50 artists are featured—many of whom are active and working today—including Pouya Afshar, Fereydoun Ave, Siamak Filizadeh, Shadi Ghadirian, Ramin Haerizadeh, Shirin Neshat, Parviz Tanavoli, and Newsha Tavakolian. In focusing on the intersection of past and present, In the Fields of Empty Days offers new scholarship and a novel approach to viewing anachronisms in Iranian art.

  • May 6–Sep 9, 2018
  • BCAM, Level 2
  • Exhibitions