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Shirin Neshat / Gals Who Inspire

Iranian born artist Shirin Neshat is truly inspiring. She uses photography and film to tackle gender and politics in the Muslim world and examine the line between the personal and political. Exploring pre- and post-revolution Islam in her work, her powerful images of women are a discourse about changes in society.

Shirin Neshat by Annie Leibovitz
The artist was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the 2016 Perilli calendar (above).

Neshat's most well-known works are her photographs of Muslim women superimposed with Arabic calligraphy. But, today, we wanted to introduce you to one of our favorite (and lesser-known) projects by Neshat. 

"Dreamers" is an exhibition that explores the world of women's dreams. It includes still photographs and features two video installations, Roja and Sarah.

Shirin Neshat
Still from Roja, part of "Dreamers"

 The films revolve around a single female protagonist whose narratives live between dream and reality. Both are shot in black and white and edited to create a surreal visual, considering the dreamlike aftermath of real events.

Roja

Still from Roja, part of "Dreamers"

Using the characters to reflect on her own nightmares, Neshat says she's "fascinated by how in a state of dream, the boundaries in between madness and sanity, reality and fiction, conscious and subconscious are blurred and broken."

Shirin Neshat
Still from Sarah, part of "Dreamers"

 
"Roja and Sarah are an effort to make sense of the more subliminal emotional and psychic universe that lives deep inside of us, but is difficult to explain through words."

 

Shirin Neshat
Still from Sarah, part of "Dreamers"

Shirin Neshat
Untitled, from Roja, 2016 


With any luck, "Dreamers" will make its way to our home of Los Angeles sometime!

For more on Shirin Neshat's work, check out her page on Artsy and her Ted Talk about  the paradox of being an artist in exile.

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