Hannah Darabi. You’re so Tehran!

2023 | Centre de la photographie Genève

Hannah Darabi’s exhibition brings together two of the artist’s projects on visual culture related to Iran. Soleil of Persian Square (2017-2021) is an investigation into the visual identity of the Iranian diaspora’s lifestyle in Los Angeles. It attempts to give a face to the fictional city called ‘Tehrangeles’, which the artist discovered through images associated with popular music in her teenage years. The project weaves together ordinary landscapes of Los Angeles and Orange County, portraits of its inhabitants, and popular culture productions such as cassette sleeves, song lyrics, music videos from the 1980s and 1990s, and pages from directories featuring the activities of this diaspora. Soleil of Persian Square is not only a journey from real to imaginary space, but also a way of life and a way of thinking embodied in popular culture, which today is positioned against the moral values of the current Iranian regime.

Haut Bas Fragile investigates the possibility of representing the city of Tehran, which has long resisted the photographic image. These images are not documents of the failings of urban modernity, nor are they visual conventions for picturesque or exotic imagery: they refer to an aesthetic of the ordinary and the common. Composed of multiple layers, this project intends to offer an alternative image of Tehran, showing its most visible, and for that very reason often ignored side, by fabricating micro-histories of the ordinary city.

Exhibition views by Léonard Rossi