Houston artist Soody Sharifi, in collaboration with Param Sharifi, created a large scale installation including photography, writings, and found documents. The exhibition highlighted the diversity and pluralism in contemporary Iranian political, social, and cultural life. Acting as deliberately selective archivists, the team of mother and son exposed a more subtle and three dimensional view of a country too often seen through the narrow optic of the nightly news.
Using photos, text, and large-scale murals, the artists investigated the difference between how the Iranian government portrays life in Iran (and the way in which the West thus often interprets that life) and how she and her son perceive the reality of contemporary Iranian culture. From two generations with two different perspectives, –she was born and raised in Iran and lived in the United States while her son had visited Iran only recently for the first time after studying and living in Europe– the exhibition also featured two very different kinds of art. Viewers encountered large murals like that approved by the government (reminiscent of that seen in the Soviet Union) and photographs, text, and found objects that evoked the more complex nature of the life these artists believe is widely lived in private in Iran today.