Continuing with our research on the visual production of notable international women artists who have made significant contributions to the art world, on this occasion we present Shirin Neshat, painter, photographer, performer, video artist and filmmaker, considered by specialized critics as one of the most outstanding artists of Iranian contemporary art. Neshat was born in Qazvín, Iran, in 1957. Her childhood and adolescence were spent in her country, where she received an education based on the values of the Islamic tradition in combination with Western, progressive values and thoughts, a lifestyle admired by her father, a renowned Iranian doctor.
Back in the United States, in New York, where she currently lives ─since 1996 she was banned from entering her country─, she begins some new artistic proposals, whose visual discourse is characterized by being critical, ironic, questioning, where she works with effects of the Islamic Revolution in terms of the construction of the being of the Iranian woman; that is, she focuses on the social, cultural, political, religious and ideological problems related to the conflicts suffered by Muslim women. Her first work, and perhaps the most relevant, is the series of photographs entitled Women of Allah (1) (2) (3) , developed between 1993 and 1997. In this series, works such as I am Its Secret, Faceless, Rebellious Silence, Stories of Martyrdom, Allegiance with Wakefulness, Seeking Martyrdom, Speechless; intervened large-format black and white photographs, where the artist and other women appear covered with the chador, the Iranian veil, and on their faces, hands and feet, like canvases, she prints writings in Persian calligraphy, as part of her language aesthetic, associated with poetry written by Muslim women as an instrument against Iranian political repression, and the weapon symbolizes the Iranian woman who doesn’t want to be seen as a passive being, as a victim, but as a strong fighter. And within this concept, she has produced video installations, performances and cinema, an area in which she won the Silver Lion as best director at the Venice Film Festival in 2009, for her feature film Women Without Men.
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