Gallery 53 to Present 'Messages From Iran'


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Beginning on Thursday, July 25, Gallery 53 will open its second exhibition, "Messages from Iran," as part of DownStreet Art's  installations this summer. The exhibition will include work curated by Solly Kh, who shares the video works of artists Amirhossein Bayani and Peyman Shafieezadeh.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Gallery 53, 53 Main St. in North Adams, is one of four new DownStreet Art "pop-up" galleries.

For "Messages from Iran," the gallery space will present an interactive installation that has been transformed into a miniature theater, as each of the artist's videos is presented in 15-minute showings. Each video is less than five minutes in length. Viewers will walk from one projection to the next.

Parents are advised that one video contains graphic content.

According to Associate Gallery Manager Adriana Alexatos, this exhibition offers a perspective that not many Americans get to experience; a glimpse of life outside of the United States and our realities of freedom.

Kh is an independent curator living and working from Teheran, Iran's capital and largest city. She aims to share these videos and the artists' other work widely around the globe, however; due to sanctions against Iran and economic crisis within the country, doing so in America has not been easy, she said.

"Messages from Iran," one of the three videos presented in this exhibition, is a collaboration between Iranian artists Amirhossein Bayani and Peyman Shafieezadeh.

"These video artists belong to a generation whose childhood was spent on war and violence, and who are now living under threat of boycotting and war from foreign countries," Kh said. "Despite the situation, they make efforts to send their peaceful message to all the world."

The exhibition also will feature individual video projects by Bayani and Shafieezadeh.

Bayani's video, "Babylon Systems," is a reflection of the torture he said occurred in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. It questions the omnipresence and invisibility of authority and power. Shafieezadeh's video, "Occupy Me," questions the concept of how certain models exist. Both videos have two-dimensional works made in association with the video footage.

Gallery 53 is a DownStreet Art-sponsored gallery, funded by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire County Resource Center (BCRC), and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Piping and draping for this exhibit was donated by Limelight Productions, Inc.

The mirror used for the "Occupy Me" installation was donated by Berkshire Emporium & Antiques.

For more information about DownStreet Art, go to , or call the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at (413) 664 8718.

For more information about Bayani and Shafieezadeh, go to