Soleil of Persian Square is a search for an identity visual of the lifestyle of the Iranian diaspora in Los Angeles. Hannah Darabi has created a fiction which is called Tehrangeles, which Hannah Darabi discovered through pictures associated with popular music in her years of adolescence. Soleil of Persian Square is about forging links between ordinary landscapes of Los Angeles and Orange County as bearers of traces of this diaspora Iranian culture; portraits of its inhabitants and objects from popular culture, such as cassette covers, song lyrics, screenshots of music videos from the years 1980 and 1990, or even directory pages devoted to the activities of this diaspora are included in this invented portrait of Tehrangeles.
Soleil of Persian Square does not in fact designate only a journey from real space to that of imagination but also defines a way of life that has become embodied in popular culture.
This culture, which is positioned today as opposition to the moral values of the Iranian regime’s current situation, and which secular intellectuals criticize elsewhere for pop culture as ‘ low art ’, has nevertheless survived, especially through the pop music of Tehrangeles. “This music that we love to ‘hate’ has never lost its place in the heart of this scattered nation, and never stopped moving our bodies, whether in a taxi in Tehran, with friends in Paris, or at a concert in Toronto.”
The book is related to Hannah Darabi’s exhibition, “Soleil of Persian Square”, at the GwinZegal Art Center from February 18 to June 5, 2022; produced by GwinZegal and Anywave with support from the Center National des Arts Plastiques.
About the Author
Born in 1981 in Tehran, Hannah Darabi is an Iranian artist and photographer. She studied at Tehran’s College of Fine Arts and then at the University of Paris VIII-Saint-Denis. Although she now lives in Paris, her country of origin remains the main subject of most of her photographic series, in which her photographs interact with other materials, such as text, archival images, and objects, so as to show the unique political situation and economic conditions in her country.
Artists’ books hold a special place among the different forms of expression that she explores. Her books can be found in public and private collections such as the Museum of Modern Art (Library and Archives) in New York, the Kandinsky Library at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the Royal Library of Belgium. (via le-bal.fr)