Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat – Tooba (2002)

Quote:
Her poetic two-channel video installation Tooba is based on the Koran, in which Tooba, the sacred tree of paradise, offers shelter and sustenance to those in need. Neshat’s video places a woman within a groove in the trunk of a large fig tree, symbolising its soul. They stand, alone, in a stone-walled garden set in a mountainous landscape. Men and women draw near and enter the enclosure, seeking refuge, as the Tooba-woman disappears into the Tooba-tree. The piece is ambiguous. Who has agency? Is it the crowd, who ‘invade’ the garden or the tree-woman who draws them towards her like a magnet? Tooba is dedicated to Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipour, whose novel Women without Men concerns five women sojourning in a garden, one of whom is transformed into a tree. Read More »

Shirin Neshat – Rapture (1999)

Quote:
Rapture is an installation of two synchronized black-and-white video sequences that are projected on opposite walls; large in scale, they evoke cinema screens. Working with hours of footage and a team of editors, the artist constructed two parallel narratives: on one side of the room, men populate an architectural environment; in the other sequence, women move within a natural one. The piece begins with images of a stone fortress and a hostile desert, respectively. The fortress dissolves into a shot of over one hundred men—uniformly dressed in plain white shirts and black pants—walking quickly through the cobblestone streets of an old city and entering the gates of the fortress. Simultaneously, the desert scene dissolves into a shot of an apparently equal number of women, wearing flowing, full-length veils, or chadors, emerging from different points in the barren landscape. Read More »

Shirin Neshat – Roja (2016)

Synopsis
Roja is drawn from Neshat’s own recurring dreams, memories and desires. The work traces a young woman’s disquieting attempts to connect with American culture while reconciling her identification with her home country of Iran. Read More »

Shirin Neshat – Zarin (2005)

“Neshat spoke to The Stranger’s Jen Graves on Tuesday, by phone from her home in New York.

I first want to talk about Zarin, the anorexic prostitute who hallucinates at the sight of her john, then flees to a women’s bath—a beautiful place, sparkling with dusty light—where she scrubs her own skin until she bleeds. A few years ago, I caught your short video portrait of her, and was never able to get her out of my mind. You’ve said her character feels the closest to you. Read More »