Shirin Neshat, ‘From the “Tooba” Series’, 2002, Art in General: Benefit Auction (2016)

Making fictions out of reality, auteur and photographer Shirin Neshat examines the social and political binaries that shape modern femininity in Muslim society. Her work is marked by the tension between beauty and violence, as seen in her C-Print, a film still From "Tooba" Series. Muted tones reinforce the ambiguous narrative of the work, imbuing a stillness at odds with the motion of the central figures. Neshat has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. She is the winner of a Crystal Award and a Silver Lion at the 66th Venice Film Festival.

Unique copy

Signature: On recto

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist

About Shirin Neshat

Internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat takes on loaded themes in photography, film, and video works that delve into issues of gender, identity, and politics in Muslim countries, and the relationship between the personal and political. Her film Women without Men (2009), which won the prestigious Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, follows four women—including a political activist, a prostitute, and a would-be mother—set in the context of 1950s Iran and featuring surreal elements to convey the psychological states of her characters. More recently Neshat has collaborated with American artist Larry Barns, taking portrait photographs of elderly, low-income Egyptian workers, including mechanics, street peddlers, teachers, grandmothers, and housewives, exploring the hardship experienced by individuals living under tumultuous regimes. “Today, again in the comfort of my sanctuary in New York, I look back and wonder how they are,” she says. “What is the future for Egypt? Is there any hope for return of that revolutionary fervor which seemed so pure, beautiful, and powerful?” Neshat has also collaborated with composer Philip Glass and the singer-songwriter Sussan Deyhim.

Iranian, b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran, based in New York, New York