ART AFRICA Magazine asked me to do a review of award winning Iranian photojournalist, Newsha Tavakolian‘s, exhibition entitled ‘I know why the rebel sings’ which is currently showing at the Prince Claus Foundation Gallery in Amsterdam.
Hidden within the distinctly first world streets of Amsterdam Central, on Herengracht 603, this nondescript gallery, and subsequently the rich and culturally evocative artworks that hang there, are easily overlooked… ‘This would be a pity’ – is not a strong enough statement for what you would be missing. Dare to press that buzzer – and brace yourselves to enter into a world utterly removed from your own.
The main exhibition space is shrouded in shadows, creating a vacuum of anything other than the images and figures you are here to see and understand.
Men and woman stare at us from hanging moving portraits, as plastic bags drift across their feet – hinting at the ever present ugly realities of the world these individuals reside within…
I found this to be a truly enlightening exhibition – giving viewers a glimpse into the rarely pictured private spaces of Iranian citizens. Newsha has a way of capturing silent moments of contemplation and hinting at a world outside the spaces of her portrait.
Get a copy of ART AFRICA for my full observations and reactions to this evocative photo-journey through the modern Middle East, into harrowing portraits of contemporary war zones.