Escaping the Exotic
In this lecture and at Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto I recounted historic traditions of calligraphy and picture-making in Iran and illustrated its connections with the contemporary graphic design scene. A selection of posters from GEN X exhibition, books, magazines and other printed material were on display.
The event was produced in collaboration with Andreea Muscurel.




Introduction to the lecture:
Iranian Graphic Design has gained unprecedented international acclaim over the past decade. A rich and varied history of visual creation and well rooted traditions of calligraphy are among the factors that lend the contemporary scene in Iran its unique features. Overlap of traditional and modern practices provides designers with a rare opportunity to absorb and re-express the immediate past that surrounds them. Creating contemporary work that reflects upon its history and meaningfully acknowledges its predecessors -like any decent apprentice in the east should do- seems to be the grand work that lies ahead.

The new generation of Iranian designers, now younger than ever, is well connected to the rest of the world and aware of the context their work is viewed in. Given the political and social events that inevitably frame the works of Iranian artists, it is fascinating to discuss what is demanded of the artists nationally and internationally. While the young Iranians seek the their new identities the rest of the world seems to be falling behind, demanding to see more of what it is used to.


Photos by Andreea Muscurel