Through beautiful videos and photographs Shirin Neshat tells stories of men and women's positions in the Muslim culture. She explores the distinctive opposites of the culture: man/woman, free/oppressed, power/impotence, nature/culture and tradition/renewal.
Fervor Series (Crowd of Women, One Leaving), 2000
DescriptionA black/white photograph shows a large group of women in chadors, sitting close together in a small yard. A couple of large jars, chairs and tables are visible in the background. The homogeneous crowd of faces, framed by dark veils, is broken by a figure standing up with her back to the camera.
About the work
The photograph Fervor Series is a still from the video of the same name. The video deals with taboo sexuality: sensuality, forbidden attractions and repressed contact between the sexes. Through serene and protracted sequences of shots and a slowly unfolding story, the video depicts the sexuality and desire associated with eye contact. The eye contact between men and women, strictly forbidden in Muslim Iran, is the foundation of the work.
Neshat’s art in generalBased on her experiences growing up in Iran under the Shah, her adult life in the USA, and subsequent experience of returning to a changed country after Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution in 1979, Neshat's art comments on differences and similarities between the fundamentalist Islamic world and Western culture.
She demonstrates how sex is the deciding factor in the individual's social status and latitude. Her works concern themselves with women's marginalised position, confined to the home, a few select occupations and an absence of public life.
Literature"Shirin Neshat" (Mona Jensen), Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Århus, 2002
"Shirin Neshat" (Sara Tedesco), Charta, Milano, 2001
"Women of Allah" (Shirin Neshat), Noire, Milano, 1997
Shirin Neshat grew up in a family who supported Shah Reza Pahlavi. In 1974 she was sent to USA to study first in college and.....