Shirin Neshat2000

In the early 1990s, Neshat, an Iranian artist living in New York, began to produce a body of photographs dealing with women in contemporary Islam. Through mesmerizing allegory, she examined the Islamic revolution, the idea of martyrdom, and the veil. Moving from the single image to what she terms "a choreography of images," since 1996, video and film installation has become a more prominent aspect of her art. Working at an intersection between cinema and visual arts, Neshat privileges the magnetic quality of narrative over the random, and, while engaging socio-political and spiritual ideas of Islam in critique, does so in a style that moves beyond the purely didactic or ethnographic.

"Since the beginning, the core of my work has been inseparable from socio-political issues. It is simply impossible to touch on any issues surrounding Islam without doing this. What has changed for me is how to frame my ideas so that they neither validate, nor dismiss, specific social or political agendas. The work is not designed to take a position or offer an opinion, but rather to function as a discourse and a dialogue on the subject."