Iranian artists are taking part in the Venice Biennale to showcase and share the traits of Iranian art and culture with nations and communities the world over.

The message is clear: Iranian art is modern and contemporary. At a time when the whole world is under the assumption that Iranians are still striving to make ends meet, and art has been greatly sidelined, Iran decided to have a serious presence in the Venice Biennale. This is for those audiences who are still not familiar with Iran and its contemporary art.

Iran’s contemporary art is progressive all because its artists are progressive. Of Being and Singing is the title of our exhibition in the Biennale. This is because we are determined to demonstrate to the world community that development of art and diplomacy is one and the same. 

Iran is gripped with numerous crises, and this makes it difficult if not impossible to pay greater attention to the development of its contemporary art. However, Iranian art has an established position in the region and beyond. It cannot be disregarded. It owes its success to the artists it has trained and cherished. The country has become a regular participant at the Biennale unlike many other neighboring countries that are taking part in this artistic event for the first time.

This is a new era for Iranian art. It now depends on the efforts put in place by our own artists to move forward. They have many things to say through the medium of art, an art that is now so recognized and appreciated the world over. This is a new triumph for Iranian art and we will treasure it for future generations.

The Institute for Development of Contemporary Art has organized the Iranian pavilion at this year’s Biennale in Italy. It has been and still is the main supporter and sponsor of young Iranian artists in such artistic events. The institute will continue to find new ways to promote and sponsor the presence of Iranian art and artists in other international events.

Mahdi Afzali

Director, Institute for Development of Contemporary Art