Shirin Neshat, Zarhra, 2008, C-print & ink, 60×40 inches, (152.4×101.6 cm), Edition of 5 + 2 Aps . Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.
The films of Iranian-born Shirin Neshat engage the viewer through powerful images, sweeping scores, and evocations of human passions and desires, all the while commenting on the social tropes that unite, or separate us. In her latest work, she attenuates the binaries that have always been her subject. Within these stark black and white passages, Neshat pitches the dialectics of East/West, man/woman, and oppressor /oppressed, to such a degree that these seemingly immutable polarities become malleable location for query. Giving voice to such opposites, Neshat’s point of view becomes a dual vantage, from which issues not only narrative but the possibilities of discourse.