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Museum für Islamische Kunst Shows Online Exhibition “Capturing Iran’s Past” on Google Arts & Culture

Museum für Islamische Kunst

Capturing Iran’s Past. Fotokunst – PhotoArt – هنرعکاسی was a special exhibition of contemporary Iranian photography in the book art gallery and the Mschatta Hall at the Pergamonmuseum from 7 November 2019 to 26 January 2020. Now viewers can explore the five series from the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) in an online exhibition on Google Arts & Culture.

Four Photo Artists and Iranian Modernism

The virtual exhibition takes us on a journey through Iran’s past as encountered by four contemporary artists ‒ Shadi Ghadirian, Arman Stepanian, Najaf Shokri, and Taraneh Hemami. Their works conceived from varying perspectives consider the historical conditions behind Iranian Modernism.

In their art, they employ the past as a foil, challenging it on multiple levels through metaphors and allegories, while also drawing on it to make statements about the (Iranian) present. In the process, the artists use different visual strategies and allude to diverse interpretations of the past. The temporal horizon stretches from the dawn of Iranian photography in 1842 to the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88).

Take a digital tour to learn more about this narrative and the multifaceted histories of the artists’ personal and collective communities.

Musical Composition for the Online Exhibition

Musician Behrooz Moosavi composed a piece especially for the online exhibition on Google Arts & Culture: Ney Nava – An Homage.


A generous donation by the Heine family made it possible for the museum to acquire eight works from the Qajar series by Shadi Ghadirian.

Both the special and online exhibitions have been financed by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital Cultural Fund), Berlin and the Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst im Pergamonmuseum.

In cooperation with the Afrand Gallery, Teheran, the AG Galerie, Teheran and the Silk Road Gallery, Teheran.