Reza Nadji (*1978 in Teheran) studied Photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, as well as at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Intensive travels and numerous sojourns abroad both during and after his studies have a left an indelible mark on his cultural understanding. He lives today in Berlin, where is also Head of the Institute of Photographic Education.

Reza Nadji was 29 years old when he first visited the homeland of his parents – and returned with an impressive portrait of a city rife with contradictions. In Teheran, he encountered a blatant discrepancy between the Islamic lifestyle dictated by the state and the lifestyle of the “real world”. For here, the longings of a western-oriented youth are confronted with the prohibitions of the Ayatollah, and capitalist temples of consumption stand side by side with socialist architecture. For this series of Tehran streetscapes, he photographed the city in winter and found it crusted in ice and snow. Architectural images but also cityscapes, his pictures capture multi-story murals painted on the sides of buildings, signposts devoid of messages and a strong sense of the quotidian. Nadji's stance is largely apolitical (at least on the surface); he prefers to plumb the weirdness that arises when millions of people come together in urban places. At first glance, his images seem like architectural photography. For the most part, Nadji avoids depicting people in his photos, especially at places, where one would normally expect to see them – in doing so, he causes the viewer to reflect upon the situation of the Iranian people.

Exhibitions and Awards (selection):

2014 ‘Photonic Moments – Month of Photography’, Ljubljana
2014 ‘PIX: Die iranische Ausgabe’, Studio 21, Calcutta
2014 Goethe Institut, Mumbai
2013 Goethe Institut, New Delhi
2013 ‘The Interior’, Mohsen Gallery, Teheran
2012 ‘gute aussichten_mustererkennung. junge deutsche fotografie’,
MAKK – Museum of Applied Arts, Cologne
2010 ‘Zwischen den Welten’, Galerie DUO, Bonn
2009 Nomination – ‘Le Prix Voies Off’, Rencontres d'Arles
2009 ‘Book Dummy Award’, Photo Book Festival, Kassel
2009 Goethe Institut, Washington, D.C.
2009 Art Foyer, Deutsche Zentralbank, Frankfurt am Main
2009 ‘gute aussichten. junge deutsche fotografie’, Deichtorhallen, Haus der Fotografie, Hamburg
2008 ‘gute aussichten Award’ – Young German Photography 2008/2009
2005 ‘Serbin Photo Award’, PDN Photo Annual Winner 2005