From Persia to Iran. A Thousand and One Fairy Tales

An adventure that stretches back thousands of years, interwoven with mythology and history, punctuated by the lives of artists and patrons, storytellers and listeners, all those who have used art to give a shape to the soul of an entire society. This is what emerges in the works of art -illustrations, calligraphic miniatures, sculptures, photographs- in the rooms dedicated to Iran and to the mysterious Persia of the A Thousand and One Nights. A journey through the cosmogony and the creation of a culture, experienced through its images and through their relationship with its signs, its writing and its most iconic books. Visual stories in which narration turns into poetry, song, music.
From the Book of Kings or Rostamnāmu, which narrates the story of Iran from the origins of the world in an inextricable tangle of life and spirituality, to the papier-mâché sculptures created by the young artist Hajar Salimi, dedicated to Islam’s folklore and iconic figures: it will be a journey of discovery and wonder, with neither limits nor restrictions.

Illustration by Pejmān Rahimizādeh, from Rostam va Esfandiār (Kanoon) – detail

Guest country

Six contemporary Iranian artists (Alirezā Goldouziān, Hodā Haddādi, Narges Mohammadi, Pejmān Rahimizādeh, Hajar Salimi, Farshid Shafiee) will be called upon to build bridges connecting the past to the present, and an ancient culture that stretches back thousands of years to the future. Their works highlight the fluid shift that has taken place in Persian culture from the calligraphic sign to the plastic sign, all the way to the aesthetics of illustration. This process will come alive through our eyes and emotions, as we approach a country that for many is still distant and mysterious.