Starbucks, Eric Robert Parnes
Starbucks, Eric Robert Parnes

Washington, DC – The Fridge DC is pleased to present its November 2009 exhibition I RAN Home (In America), running November 5 through November 29, 2009. (Opening Reception: Thursday, November 5, 2009, 7:00-10:00 pm.)

Iranian artists have become players in the national and international contemporary art scene, but too often, this genre is tied to politics.  In reality, Iranian-American artists are multi-faceted with different and conflicting identities and influences.  Their work may be affected by political realities, but not decided by them.  In I RAN Home (In America), these diverse influences unite in profoundly personal artworks which strive to achieve acceptance and understanding from all viewers.  Moreover, the genre educates the American public about Iranian culture and reveals the effects of Diaspora on community identity.

Originally from the DC Metro area, New York based Eric Robert Parnes appropriates contemporary images and intentionally revises them to reveal the ways in which they have driven war, religion and fashion through time.  Locally-based and Iranian-born, Hadieh Shafie explores the fundamental aspects of process, repetition and time throughout her works, which take direct inspiration from the whirling dervish of Sufism.

“This is a chance for people to make connections on a familial level and share culture in a great environment.”  The Fridge owner, Alex Goldstein, says of the project.

Other works by the Iranian artits being exhibited include a raw meat package branded with an Islamic pattern used in architectural detailing throughout Iran.  Utilizing a custom made branding iron inscribed with this pattern, an act of re-contextualization implies the historic representation of cattle branding, offers a metaphor for migration, references mass marketing, and alludes to branding identities.


I RAN Home (In America)
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 5, 2009, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Exhibition: November 5 – 29, 2009
Gallery Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 11 am – 7:00 pm, Fri.-Sun. 12 noon – 8pm  
For more information: Call 202.664.4151 or visit: thefridgedc

In an effort to increase public awareness and appreciation of Iranian-American culture, The Fridge DC will host public programming events in conjunction with the exhibition:

• Bastani & Branding, Saturday, November 14, 6-9pm, features exhibiting artist Pooneh Magazehe performing her branding process on items from the public, such as bags and hats, along with a bastani (ice cream) social (Persian ice cream).

• Youth Poetry Night, Wednesday, November 18, 6-8pm features award-winning students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Literary Media and Communications Department, who will create and perform poems based on their experiences with the exhibit, their views on Iranian culture, and talk with the artists at the School on November 5.  This event is free.

• I RAN I DANCE, Saturday, November 21, 9pm-1am is a dance party with Persian beats from DJ Dariush.  There will be a $10 suggested donation.

The artists will create one-of-a-kind designs which will be featured on limited-edition wearable merchandise, available for sale through the duration of the exhibition.  A free opening reception will be held Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 7 to 10 pm at The Fridge DC.  The Fridge DC is located in the heart of Capitol Hill, along the bustling “Restaurant Row,” approximately one block from the Eastern Market Metro Station.

This project is made possible by the generous support of: The Fridge DC, Albus Cavus, DJ Dariush, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, The Pink Line Project, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Turkish Coffee Cafe, and Persianesque Magazine.

About the Curators
I RAN Home (In America) is the first curatorial partnership between Isabella Hughes and Barbara Petro and the basis for their future non-profit, Project for Art in Curating (PAC).  Set to launch in 2010, PAC will support four emerging curators each year in proposing an exhibition, selecting artists and works, collaborating with the host venue and other tasks of the independent curator.

About The Fridge DC
The Fridge DC is a new art gallery, performance space, and art school that offers full scholarships for children of low-income DC area residents. Its mission is to foster creativity and community dialogue; provide exhibition space to emerging and established local artists; host programs and activities that encourage public awareness, participation, and appreciation of the arts and to serve as a catalyst for social change.

Inquiries about I RAN Home (In America), please contact:
Barbara Petro
Isabella Hughes