Exhibition Opening: Maryam Tafakory: I want to tell you what I can’t

27 April, 2023
– 27 April, 2023
6pm – 8pm
We see a close-up of a hand tightly gripping a telephone cable, held close to the body that is wearing a gray jumper. The hand appears tense, with visible strain on the fingers and knuckles.
Nazarbazi نظربازی , Maryam Tafakory, 2022.
Join us for the opening of our exhibition on Thursday, 27th April from 6-8pm, with a conversation between exhibiting artist Maryam Tafakory and Zara Joan Miller at 7pm.
NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are sorry to inform you that the talk as part of the opening will be postponed. The exhibition opening will go ahead as scheduled on Thu 27 April, from 6-8pm.

Maryam Tafakory: I want to tell you what I can’t is the first UK exhibition by Iranian artist and filmmaker Maryam Tafakory. The exhibition presents the artist’s moving image works Nazarbazi (the play of glances) نظربازی and Irani Bag ایرانی کیف, alongside fragments of more recent work.

Nazarbazi (the play of glances) (2022) is a film about love and desire in Iranian cinema, where depictions of intimacy and touch between women and men are prohibited.

Irani Bag (2021) is a split-screen video essay that deconstructs the depiction of a seemingly innocent object—the handbag—in order to propose a textual and political analysis of censorship and intimacy in post-revolution Iran. Irani Bag invites the spectator to reconsider the relationship between sight and touch.

No booking is required, and all are welcome to attend.

Nazarbazi (the play of glances) نظربازی  is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella as part of BEYOND. Irani Bag ایرانی کیف  is commissioned by the Asian Film Archive.


Captions for Nazarbazi (the play of glances) نظربازی courtesy of FVU

Captions for  Irani Bag ایرانی‭ ‬کیف courtesy of LUX Moving Image



Auditory/Visual Access: We have hearing loops, a large print guide and magnifying glasses available in the space.

Sensory Access: Please note that the exhibition space is very dark, and the sound/noise volume is adjusted to a higher level. Let us know in advance if you require the room to be brighter or lower volume environment.

Content NoteNazarbazi نظربازی contains depictions of body injury.

You can find general access information here


Maryam Tafakory [b. Shiraz, Iran] is an artist filmmaker whose textual and filmic collages interweave poetry, documentary, archival, and found material. Her work has been exhibited internationally including at MoMA; Locarno; MoMI New York; IFFR Rotterdam; ICA London; Pergamon Museum Berlin; True/False; M HKA; and Anthology Film Archives amongst others. She has received several awards including the Tiger Short Award at the 51st IFFR, Gold Hugo Award at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival, Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award at the 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Best Experimental Short Film at the 70th Melbourne International Film Festival, the Jury Prize at Documenta Madrid, and the Best International Short Film at 29th l’Alternativa Barcelona. She was awarded the Flaherty/Colgate Distinguished Global Filmmaker in Residence (NY) in 2019 and was a MacDowell Fellow in 2022. www.maryamtafakory.com

Zara Joan Miller is a British/Iranian artist and author of poetry collection BLUE MONDAY (JOAN Publishing, 2022). She works across moving image, performance and print – often playing with movement and sound as a way of reimagining a body’s rhythm.

Her critical writings on film and art have appeared in Another Gaze, British Journal of Photography, Autograph Gallery and Flash Art.


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