Shirin Neshat

Iran / °1957 / wikipedia
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Shirin Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran, a small city two hours from Tehran in 1957. In 1974, at the age of seventeen, she was sent to the United States to complete her education; the Islamic Revolution in 1979 would prevent her from returning to her country of origin for close to twenty years. After receiving a BA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983, Neshat moved to New York, where she soon began working at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, an interdisciplinary alternative space in Manhattan. Though Neshat had studied art in college, her arrival in New York commenced a hiatus from art-making until 1993, when she made her first trip back to Iran.

Neshat’s earliest works were photographs, such as the Unveiling (1993) and Women of Allah (1993–97) series, which explore notions of femininity in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and militancy in her home country. Her subsequent video works departed dramatically from overtly political content or critique, in favor of more poetic imagery and narratives. Her first video installations—the trilogy comprising Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), and Fervor (2000)—utilize dual video screens to portray abstract oppositions based around gender and society, the individual and the group. While these works hint at the restrictive nature of Islamic laws regarding women, they deliberately open onto multiple readings, reaching instead toward universal conditions. Other videos, such as Soliloquy (1999), Possessed (2001), Pulse (2001), and Tooba (2002), along with the film Passage (2001), have expanded upon this formula, presenting similarly ambiguous narratives.

(More: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artists/bios/1583/Shirin%20Neshat)
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Laura Indick

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