Shirin Neshat. Dreamers

24 Feb — 26 Mar 2017 at Dirimart in Istanbul, Turkey

Shirin Neshat. Dreamers, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Dirimart
Shirin Neshat. Dreamers, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Dirimart
15 MAR 2017

Dirimart is pleased to announce DREAMERS, an exhibition by Shirin Neshat. The show will include 2 video installations; “Roja” (2016) and “Sara” (2016) in addition to a series of new photos titled “Dreamers”. Each video revolves around single female protagonists whose emotional and psychological narratives remain on the border of dream and reality; madness and sanity; and consciousness and sub-consciousness as they each face their own distinct inner anxieties.

These beautifully shot, black and white films share similar surrealistic and dreamy visual effects. Based on aspects of the artist’s own recurring dreams, memories and sense of longings; Neshat manages to achieve a haunting quality through simple, non­linear narratives and effective use of subtle camera techniques. In all the works, natural landscapes and distinct monolithic architecture become dominant aspects of the brief narratives, which indirectly investigate issues of gender, power, displacement, protest, identity, and the space between the personal and the political.

In Neshat’s own words; “I have been haunted by the power of dreams, and in how it is only in the state of dreams where the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred; and where human beings become become truly free and naked.”

SARAH is an unfolding journey of a woman as she recollects and breathes annihilation, while facing residues of history, destruction, and mortality. What remains at the core of this narrative, is Sarah’s fears which at last force her to plunge into imagining her own death. While intimate and personal, Sarah reflects on today’s global sense of anxiety against extinction, violence and genocide.

ROJA is an evocative piece, loosely based on the experience of ‘nostalgia’ by an Iranian woman who feels deeply divided in between Eastern and Western cultures and landscapes; desperately seeking a notion of ‘security’, ‘homeland’ and a ‘mother figure’ which prove to be both sympathetic and yet terribly threatening. DREAMERS leaves the audience with the same question in mind, will the world ever heal from victimizing the displaced, the vulnerable and the protagonist?

Shirin Neshat (b.1957, Qazvin), is an Iranian artist and filmmaker living in New York. In 2009, Neshat made her first feature length film, Woman Without Men, and was awarded with Silver Lion prize for Best Director in the Venice International Film Festival. Neshat’s current photo series include The Book of Kings (2012), Our House Is on Fire (2013), and The Home of My Eyes (2015). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Serpentine Gallery, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Detroit Institute of Arts are among the museums where Neshat’s artworks are exhibited. Holding a recent exhibition in Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the artist participated in the 48th Venice Biennial (1999), Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002) and Prospect 1 New Orleans (2009). Awards she was granted are: Grand Prize at the Gwangju Biennial (2000); First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the Golden Lion Award; Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005); and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (2006). Neshat is working on her second feature-length film, which is about the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum.