In search of a structure that could cope with over 110 hours of often-contradictory interviews, the archive’s curatorial team devised the format of a documentary installation instead of a regular, single channel film.
So far, five themes have been produced. In Search of the Roots tries to locate past milestones by bringing together some of the key figures from the Iranian art world before the revolution in 1979. Now and Then takes us on a journey that begins with an introduction to the post-revolution war years in the form of a flashback.
Although it can be contested, it tries to draw a useful map of the scene in the post-war era until the rise, and fall, of a reformist government. The approach within this particular theme is highly cultural. Whilst Now and Then leaves us almost without a conclusion around 2007-2008, Iran Boom overlaps those years and takes a considerable leap backwards in attempt to reveal the origins of the so-called boom in Iranian art. It even questions whether it did, in fact, actually happen. In Theory lines up a number of prominent, highly prolific thinkers and experts who tackle issues such as national representation, the politics of visibility and art in the age of globalization. It also lends an ear to artists and curators who offer first hand experiences of the same topics.
Finally, The Show Must Go On… investigates some of the indisputable blockbuster exhibitions of the past ten years that showcased Iranian and/or Middle Eastern art.