Title Thumbnail

Living in One Land, Dreaming in Another

Shirin Neshat Judith Csiki

160 pages
Distanz Verlag Gmbh Llc

“Dreams are universal.”

An air of confidence and vibrancy, but also vulnerability and fragility surround the works of the Iranian artist, photographer, and filmmaker Shirin Neshat (b. Qazvin, 1957; lives and works in New York). Central themes in Neshat's art are identity, origin, and power structures. Her works are defined by a melding and broadening of the rich visual traditions of Persian and Western art. The US-based artist's work is now the subject of the museum's first presentation in association with the Written Art Collection.

Neshat's most recent work, Land of Dreams (2019), revolves around Persian calligraphy and Western canon of portraiture and combines for the fist time the media of photography and video in a single work. Combining documentary and fictional elements, it scrutinizes the American dream and its flipsides. The artist conducted interviews with the portrayed, asking them about their dreams, and then integrated summaries in Persian into the photographs together with traditional visual motifs. Interweaving writing, gestural expression, and formal variety achieves a rhythmical poetic density as it gathers individual narratives that reflect universal human experiences. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition puts the focus on the conjunction of writing and image. With a preface by Bernhard Maaz and the Written Art Collection, essays by Sussan Babaie and Judith Csiki, and an interview with the artist by Judith Csiki.

In 2019, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen concluded a cooperation agreement with the Written Art Collection, which dedicates itself to informal, gestural, calligraphic, and writing-based forms of expression in visual art media in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The works collected by the Written Art Collection are originate from the Western world, East Asia, and the Middle East and expand the collecting and research program of the Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne.

Author Bio
Shirin Neshat (b. Qazvin, 1957; lives and works in New York). .