By Nazanine Nouri

The Dastan Gallery, one of Tehran’s leading art dealerships, has opened an exhibition in London that ends March 1 and is the first in a series. The venue is No. 9 Cork Street, a space for pop-up and rotating shows in London’s Mayfair district.

“Soft Edge of the Blade” explores all of the ways in which contemporary Iranian artists deal with violence in their work, from the more blatant forms — war, political oppression, state violence — to more “soft” varieties affecting Iranians today: migration and diaspora, identity and gender, patriarchy and family, the weight of history, and the use of language on social media to disparage or to oppress.

Featured artists include Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Amin Montazeri, Andisheh Avini, Ardeshir Mohassess, Bahman Mohassess, Bita Fayyazi, Farah Ossouli, Farrokh Mahdavi, Fereydoun Ave, Ghasem Hajizadeh, the Ghasemi Brothers, Hoda Kashiha, Homa Delvaray, Mamali Shafahi, Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Mohsen Vaziri Moghadam, Nasser Bakhshi, Nicky Nodjoumi, Peybak, Reza Aramesh, Reza Derakhshani, Sam Samiee and Shayan Sajadian.

“The same faculties (senses) that bring us pleasure cause us pain, and the same faculty (mind) that plans for our happiness formulates our suffering,” said Dastan Gallery in its presentation of the show. “The soft edge of the blade is no less painful when it cuts but there is a difference and we want to explore this difference by looking at works of artists who may not even posit ‘violence’ as their subject matter.”

“Soft Edge of the Blade” is at No. 9 Cork Street in London.