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Indepth Arts News:

"Works By Shirin Neshat"
2003-03-20 until 2003-06-01
Miami Art Museum
Miami, FL, USA United States of America

Miami Art Museum presents a compelling exhibition by celebrated Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat. The exhibition offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to experience Neshat’s work in depth through six of her internationally acclaimed video-and-sound environments and related photographs in her first major solo exhibition currently touring North America.

The exhibition, which will only be seen in Montréal, Minneapolis, Miami, and then in Houston, brings together the largest collection of Neshat’s video environments ever presented including: Soliloquy of 1999, Pulse and Passage of 2001, as well as Turbulent, Rapture, and Fervor—a trilogy of films made in 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively. The films are accompanied by mesmerizing soundtracks by such contemporary composers as Sussan Deyhim and Philip Glass.

Born in Iran in 1957, Neshat immigrated to the United States at age 17 to attend the University of California at Berkeley. In 1986, she returned to Iran for the first of several visits and found the country transformed by the Islamic Revolution. Her resulting sense of displacement and exile inspired her to create works that investigate the collision of tradition and modernity in the East and West within an increasingly globalized world.  According to Neshat, she engages in "universal dialogues while keeping within the specificity of the Islamic culture."

Neshat’s epic tales are told through sweeping panoramas of striking opposites: the desert and the sea; the architecture of East and West; and women of Islam in black chadors and Muslim men in crisp white shirts. The installations differ from traditional cinema in that they are seven to 17 minutes in length and present wall-sized projections, often two to a room, that play continuously. The viewers, positioned between sound and image, enter and leave as they choose.

The exhibition, presented in MAM’s Upper Level Gallery, also includes 12 stunning, large-scale photographs related to the videos. Interspersed between the video rooms, the photographs encourage further contemplation by placing us at the threshold of two cultures, illuminating the differences and similarities between them.

"In presenting Shirin Neshat MAM fulfills two important aspects of its mission," said Suzanne Delehanty, MAM Director.  "We are pleased to present the work of this internationally acclaimed artist to audiences in South Florida and we are committed to serving as a forum for the exchange of ideas.  In this way, MAM reflects Miami’s globalism and diversity."

Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in Quebéc, Canada.  The exhibition’s Miami presentation is coordinated by Lorie Mertes, curator, MAM.  

Shirin Neshat Biography

Born 1957 in Qazvin, Iran. Lives and works in New York. Shirin Neshat’s photographs and videos have been included in many major international exhibitions, including Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany; Moving Pictures, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York 2002; Arte Contemporaneo Internacional, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City 2001;  Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France 2000 ; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2000; Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA 1999; the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy 1999 ; and Trade Routes: History and Geography:  2nd Johannesburg Biennale 1997. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at: Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy 2002; Irish Museum of Art, Dublin, Ireland 2001; Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York 2001; Serpentine Gallery, London 2000; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas 2000; Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio 2000; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 1999. In 1996 Neshat was awarded a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.

Shirin Neshat
Rapture Series, 1999
©1999 Shirin Neshat
Photos taken by Larry Barns
Courtesy of Barbara Gladstone
Organized by Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

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