Shiva Balaghi, Bahar Behbahani, and Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
Published by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2017, 20 pages
This exhibition presents a suite of new paintings, an installation, and a video from Persian Gardens, an ongoing series begun four years ago by Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Bahar Behbahani. The title is taken from an early nineteenth-century poem by Ali Khan, poet laureate of the court of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, who wrote under the pseudonym Saba, in celebration of Eram Garden, a UNESCO World heritage site and one of the oldest gardens in Iran. The rich history of Eram parallels the histories of old Persia and modern Iran. Its many pavilions, built over several dynasties by influential families who successively had the garden under their control, constitute a record of power and prestige over the ages.