Inhabiting the Space of Exhibition

Investigation by Fereshte Moosavi

Tehran, has exercised a dramatic change from late 19 century to date; with 150,000 population in 1860s tuning into a giant metropolis by over 12 million inhabitants today. The major urban transformation which took place during the first and second Pahlavi periods, 1941 – 1973, imposed western architectural patterns which changed the architecture and urban landscape forever. Such reforms introduced the city’s society and space to new economic and cultural patterns and unleashed centrifugal and dialectic forces. The first art gallery in Tehran, Apadana, opened in 1949 and soon this number grew to 22 galleries before the revolution, then expanded to 261 registered galleries by 2018. This cultural development on the one side provided the art scene with more spaces to represent, also it introduced new sites for social experiences. This text reflects on the relationship between space, memory and history in the site-specific works of two artists, Farnaz Gholami and Anna Dot, presented at But We Don’t Leave Pyramids, an exhibition curated by GAPS and organised in conjunction with Tehran Curatorial Symposium #2, from January to April 2019.