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Etemad Gallery Sep 2015 Melika Shafahi Beautiful People 01

The collection “Beautiful People”, is a look at the de_nition of beauty in today’s society of Iran.

At _rst glance, the current situation of Iran’s society can be de_ned in three words:

contradictory, traditional and young. These three words suf_ce to well understand the

stressful social, cultural and economical atmosphere of Iran and witness the desires of a

young crowd who have always valued their wishes beyond the existing borders of living.

In her works (Installation and photography), Melika Shafahi is trying to challenge this

complication and contradiction with the viewer and herself, and her biggest obsession, is the

issue of beauty and the new narcissism that has so tightly surrounded the society and the

cyberspace. In this regard, the description of concepts such as: searching for identity, culture

war, narcissism and individuality have occupied the artist’s mind. More than any other model,

the present society of Iran, particularly in big cities, is under the in_uence of consumerism and

the American lifestyle. In these cities there are countless youngsters who pass their days in

dream of looking like a western hero or a superstar, and follow this dream in a targeted way.

Young people’s bold presence in the cyberspace and the social media like Facebook and

Instagram, is a reason to reveal the fading of borders, the prevalence of cultural codes for

global consumerism, and the development of an ambience for showing off “the beautiful self”,

a self that is two-dimensional and has no depth!

Instagram for instance, due to its nature and structure, has provided a proper atmosphere for

unveiling a self-portrait, and has turned out to be the best place for self display through

photos and images. Sel_es with owners who have reconstructed faces. The cyberspace

becomes a borderless playground, a wishland and where people expose a repeated self.

Melika Shafahi

Born in Tehran 1984

Lives and works in Tehran & Paris


2012 M.A In Fine Arts, ةcole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France.

2010 B.A In Fine Arts, ةcole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier, France.

2007 B.A In Photography, Arts University, Tehran, Iran.

Solo Exhibitions

2014 - Residence, photography, Bagneres de bigorre, France.

2012 -Tehran project & Emperor's new clothes, Rira Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2011 - Snowwhite, Igreg Gallery, Tehran, Iran.

2010 - Autoportrait, Photography and installation, Gallery de l'ESBAM, Montpellier, France.

2009 – 1001 Nights: Privet show,Tehran, Iran.

2008 -Tehran's project, Harandi Gallery Tehran, Iran.

Group Exhibitions


- The World Viewed 2, Y Art Studio, Tehran, Iran.

- What Are You waiting For , Laleh June Galerie Basel, Switzerland.

- Mopcap 2015, shortlist exibition, Dubai, UAE.

- The World Viewed 1, Y Art Studio, Tehran, Iran.


- Les enfants du Sabbat n°14, Centre d'art contemporain Le Creux de l'Enfer, Thiers, France.

- Prix Icart, Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, France.


- A Men , Aun Gallery ,Tehran, Iran.

- On the other side of the mirror, Septembre de la photographie, Lieus, Lyon, France.

- Iranian Arts Now, Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, France.

- Respect to time, Rira Gallery, Dubai, UAE.

- Ciphers, Tension with tradition in contemporary Iranian photography, SAW Gallery,



- Charivari 's FREAKS , Curiosities & Realities , performace & photo,Territorium gallery, Berlin,


- Irma 6 p: m, Igreg Gallery, Tehran, Iran.

- The 2nd contemporary art exhibition, Sanandaj, Iran.

- Iran Incorporated, West beyond 51""40 Gallery Annie Gentils, Anvers, Belgique.

2010 – Tehran project, Château de la foret, Paris, France.

2008 - June begings may29, Laleh June Galerie, Basle, switzerland.

2006 - Green, Mehrva Gallery, Tehran, Iran.

نمایشگاه آثار " ملیکا شفاهی " با عنوان " مردمان زیبا " شهریور 1394 گالری اعتماد 

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More About Tehran

Overview and HistoryTehran is the capital of Iran and the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of fifteen million people living under the peaks of the Alborz mountain range.Although archaeological evidence places human activity around Tehran back into the years 6000BC, the city was not mentioned in any writings until much later, in the thirteenth century. It's a relatively new city by Iranian standards.But Tehran was a well-known village in the ninth century. It grew rapidly when its neighboring city, Rhages, was destroyed by Mongolian raiders. Many people fled to Tehran.In the seventeenth century Tehran became home to the rulers of the Safavid Dynasty. This is the period when the wall around the city was first constructed. Tehran became the capital of Iran in 1795 and amazingly fast growth followed over the next two hundred years.The recent history of Tehran saw construction of apartment complexes and wide avenues in place of the old Persian gardens, to the detriment of the city's cultural history.The city at present is laid out in two general parts. Northern Tehran is more cosmopolitan and expensive, southern Tehran is cheaper and gets the name "downtown."Getting ThereMehrabad airport is the original one which is currently in the process of being replaced by Imam Khomeini International Airport. The new one is farther away from the city but it now receives all the international traffic, so allow an extra hour to get there or back.TransportationTehran driving can be a wild free-for-all like some South American cities, so get ready for shared taxis, confusing bus routes and a brand new shiny metro system to make it all better. To be fair, there is a great highway system here.The metro has four lines, tickets cost 2000IR, and they have segregated cars. The women-only carriages are the last two at the end, FYI.Taxis come in two flavors, shared and private. Private taxis are more expensive but easier to manage for the visiting traveler. Tehran has a mean rush hour starting at seven AM and lasting until 8PM in its evening version. Solution? Motorcycle taxis! They cut through the traffic and any spare nerves you might have left.People and CultureMore than sixty percent of Tehranis were born outside of the city, making it as ethnically and linguistically diverse as the country itself. Tehran is the most secular and liberal city in Iran and as such it attracts students from all over the country.Things to do, RecommendationsTake the metro to the Tehran Bazaar at the stop "Panzda Gordad". There you can find anything and everything -- shoes, clothes, food, gold, machines and more. Just for the sight of it alone you should take a trip there.If you like being outside, go to Darband and drink tea in a traditional setting. Tehranis love a good picnic and there are plenty of parks to enjoy. Try Mellat park on a friday (fridays are public holidays), or maybe Park Daneshjou, Saaii or Jamshidieh.Remember to go upstairs and have a look around, always always always! The Azadi Tower should fit the bill; it was constructed to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire.Tehran is also full of museums such as:the Contemporary Art Museumthe Abghine Musuem (glass works)the 19th century Golestan Royal Palace museumthe museum of carpets (!!!)Reza Abbasi Museum of extraordinary miniaturesand most stunning of all,the Crown Jewels Museum which holds the largest pink diamond in the world and many other jaw-dropping jewels.Text by Steve Smith.

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