Curated by Ilaria Bernardi

The Municipality of Brescia and Fondazione Brescia Musei, in collaboration with the Associazione Genesi and the Festival of Peace, announce the group exhibition Finché non saremo libere curated by Ilaria Bernardi, which from November 11 will be articulated within the halls of the Museo di Santa Giulia, in Brescia: an exhibition dedicated to the dramatically current theme of the condition of women in the world, with a particular focus on Iran.

Finché non saremo libere, as the third stage of “Progetto Genesi,” declines the title of the book Until We Are Free into the feminine. IRAN my struggle for human rights by Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and pacifist who has been in exile since 2009 and the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2003) for her efforts for democracy and human rights, particularly of women, children and refugees. 

Opening Finché non saremo libere will be the video installation Becoming (2015), by the only male artist included in the exhibition, Iranian Morteza Ahmadvand: a work that reflects on the possible coexistence of cultures and the need to abolish distinctions and hierarchies between peoples and individuals. The work of the only male artist immediately gives way to an exhibition entirely devoted to female artists and divided into three sections.

The first section will display a core group of works by women artists from various geographical areas. These works are part of the Associazione Genesi’s contemporary art collection and delve into complex and often dramatic cultural, environmental, social and political issues of our times.

The two works by the Iranian artists Shirin Neshat and Soudeh Davoud will serve as a conduit for the second and third sections of the exhibition, which will correspond to two tributes to two historical Iranian artists who, although well known internationally, have so far never had solo exhibitions in Italy: Farideh Lashai (1944 – 2013) and Sonia Balassanian (1942).

The exhibition will end with a site-specific intervention by the young Iranian artist Zoya Shokoohi, created during a residency in Brescia initiated by the Fondazione Brescia Musei as part of the exhibition itself, as an ideal opening to future generations.

Finché non saremo libere does not only wish to delve into the dramatic condition of women in Iran, but also to emphasize the importance of the research of a number of Iranian women artists, selecting them on the basis of their qualities that has allowed them to impose themselves within the international art system and to overcome the dramatic situation in which their country finds itself. The exhibition thus promotes a message of universal hope and empowerment for all women artists, not only Iranian.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog published by Skira, edited by Ilaria Bernardi and with texts by Omar Kholeif, Delshad Marsous (Maanà Association-Iranian Diaspora Association) and Iranian artist, performer and researcher Zoya Shokoohi, which will be distributed in all museum centers.

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[© Museo di Santa Giulia- Civici Musei di Brescia / Fondazione Brescia musei]