“Inhabiting Authoritarianism: Students and the Iranian Pavilion in Paris, 1961-1979” is a magazine insert that analyzes the complex history of the former Iranian student dormitory in Paris and its inhabitants, from its commission by the Shah in 1961 to the latter’s deposition almost two decades later. This building is certainly one of the most strikingly original modernist structures in Paris, designed by Claude Parent in collaboration with André Bloc and two noted Iranian modernists, Hedar Ghiai and Mohsen Foroughi. But by the time of its completion in 1968, the Shah’s authoritarian brand of modernization — represented so conspicuously in this building, which would soon be lambasted in the press for its own “conceptual authoritarianism” — was already the subject of leftist mobilization among European militants as well as among the Iranian students living in the Pavilion.
Tom McDonough is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies in the Art History Department, Binghamton University, and an editor at Grey Room. He has published“The Beautiful Language of My Century”: Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945-1968 (October Books/MIT Press), and has edited the anthology Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents (October Books/MIT Press).
Nancy Davenport is represented by Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery. Her photographs and digital works have been shown in such exhibitions as the 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo, the First Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography, New York, and the 10th International Istanbul Biennial. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Artforum, October, Frieze, and Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography (Phaidon Press, 2006). She is a member of the faculty at the ICP-Bard MFA Program in Advanced Photographic Studies and the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has been awarded a production grant from DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, to complete a project titled Workers for the 2007 Istanbul Biennial. Fore more information, visit: http://www.dhc-art.org