Kimura Gallery: 'Gender and Identity,' the films of Iranian filmmaker Shirin Neshat, through March 9, 2012

by Jamie Gonzales  |   

Film premiere: Wednesday, Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Building, Room 150
Gallery show: Monday-Friday, through March 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fine Arts Building, Second Floor, Kimura Gallery

You are invited to the Anchorage premiere of Shirin Neshat's Women without Men on Wednesday, Feb. 29. There is no admission charge. Many thanks are due to Shirin Neshat, The Barbara Gladstone Gallery and INDIEPIX Films for making this exhibition a success.

Additional film screenings:Screen shot from Shirin Neshat film

  • Feb. 13-17, Rapture
  • Feb. 20-24, Fervor
  • Feb. 27-March 2, Turbulent
  • March 5-9, Soliloquy

About the artist
Shirin Neshat was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States in 1978 when she was 17. Her photographs, films and video installations are personal meditations exploring the experiences of women living in contemporary and traditional Islamic cultures.

Critics and art historians allude to her growing up in Iran and her experiences in the United States as being crucial to understanding her oeuvre. Neshat herself is neither dogmatic nor clear about her intentions. In an interview with the art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto in 1999, she said, "From the beginning I made a decision that this work was not going to be about me or my opinions on the subject, and that my position was going to be no position. I then put myself in a place of only asking questions but never answering them." Another critic, Peter Schjedahl, writing in The New Yorker noted that "Neshat's elegant, two-screen meditations on the culture of the chador in Islamic Iran emit an icy heat of suppressed passions; they are among the first undoubtable masterpieces of video installation."

In 1999 she won the International Award of XLVIII Venice Biennale with Turbulent and Rapture. In May of that same year, she had a worldwide premiere of Rapture at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2006 she was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize which is an annual award given "to a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." In 2009 she won the Silver Lion award for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival for her first feature film, Women without Men. The title of her film uses the same title from Shahmush Parsipur's novel. In 2010 she received another acclamation of her creative work when G. Roger Denson, the Huffington Post critic, named her Artist of the Decade. As he said, she should be applauded for "the degree to which world events have more than met the artist in making her art chronically relevant to an increasingly global culture" and allowing one to seriously consider "the ideological war being waged between Islam and the secular world over matters of gender, religion, and democracy." As an art form capable of making an impact on humanity, he felt she deserved this accolade because "the impact of her work far transcends the realms of art in reflecting the most vital and far-reaching struggle to assert human rights."

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