Sharin Neshat, Video still from Rapture, 1999, Photo via Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY.
An Open Invitation from Shirin Neshat
Born in Qazvin in Iran and educated in Berkeley, CA, Sharin Neshat creates images of the strong contrasts between Western and Islamic society as an invitation to open a dialog between the cultures.
Neshat left Iran in 1975 to attend school and didn’t return until 1990, after the Islamic Revolution, when she was stunned to see the changes in people’s appearance and behaviors. Her video art and photographs emphasize the contrasts between the old and new culture, public and private lives, and femininity and masculinity that she found in post-revolutionary Iran. The purpose of her powerful images is not to take sides, but rather to encourage a conversation about the complexity of the social, political, and psychological experiences of women in Islamic societies.