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.