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Exhibitions Now on View

Let the Garden Eram Flourish

January 5, 2017, through March 12, 2017
Bahar Behbahani, Let the Garden Eram Flourish, from the Persian Gardens series, 2016, mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Thomas Erben Gallery. © Bahar Behbahani. Photo by Adam Reich.

Location: Hood Downtown, 53 Main Street, Hanover, NH

This exhibition presents a suite of paintings, installations, and video from Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based Bahar Behbahani’s acclaimed Persian Gardens, an ongoing series that she began four years ago. An engineering tour de force, Persian or Iranian gardens have captured human imagination since their emergence in the sixth century BCE. These walled gardens comprise multilateral structures, connecting aqueducts, networks of water channels, and surrounding trees and vegetation that remain lush all year in the middle of the desert. Behbahani explores the intersection of politics and poetics that defines the gardens as contested spaces—objects of beauty that have attracted people from different walks of life throughout the ages, from the Persian rulers who created them to evoke their transcendence and political power to the diplomats, common folk, scholars, and soldiers who have sought out their orientalist enchantment.

Haunted by the spirits of fierce power play, the gardens are marked by tragedy, love, betrayal, death, and redemption, and are thus a metaphor for Iran’s fraught histories, past and present... read more

Accent Elimination

January 17, 2017, through March 05, 2017

Location: Strauss Gallery, Hopkins Center

Our language and accent are fundamental elements of how we express and identify who we are, where we come from, and how we relate to one another. Yet, how often do we think about trying to alter our tone, our voice, or our words? Can you think of a time when you might have benefitted from adjusting your accent? 

As an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York, Nina Katchadourian would come across signs advertising “accent elimination” as she walked the city streets. Inspired by the seemingly paradoxical notion of improving one’s accent as a means of assimilation while still attempting to sustain one’s cultural identity, Katchadourian created the multimedia work, aptly titled Accent Elimination.

In it, Katchadourian explores language and identity and questions what an accent is at its core. As she explains:

My foreign-born parents who have lived in the United States for over forty years both have distinctive but hard-to-place accents that I have never been able to imitate correctly (and have not inherited... read more

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