Monday, May 9, 2011

Speechless (Shirin Neshat)


   “Speechless” is a young woman’s work of art to speak up about her own culture and the homeland that she had been banished from for eleven years. Artist Shirin Neshat realized that Iran was changing dramatically and quickly becoming a much more traditional and strict Islamic culture (Müller). Mainly through photographs and short videos, she has been determined to show different aspects of her life and her culture. She returned for a visit to Iran after the 1990 revolution which sparked her passion for taking photos of the events and soon turned to a more artistic approach. Once she was back in the U.S., she quickly started a series of works called “Women of Allah” (Müller).
With “Speechless” and several other similar pieces such as “Rebellious Silence” she was able to put a visual characteristic to the prohibition of women rights. In “Speechless” unlike most artists Shirin has brought art to life in photographs and video, not paintings, capturing real women and real emotion. Clearly visible, the barrel of a gun is sticking out from a female's head dress and calligraphic text is scrolling across her face contrasting how women cannot express themselves without having to worry about being punished or even executed. With this work of art and all of Shirin Neshat’s work, she has spoken out and let the world know how women feel about being oppressed and being restricted in their daily lives. Her government will never be able to stop her speaking out now and she has shown that she can resist through passion and art.
“Speechless” is a young woman’s work of art to speak up about her own culture and the homeland that she had been banished from for eleven years. Artist Shirin Neshat realized that Iran was changing dramatically and quickly becoming a much more traditional and strict Islamic culture (Müller). Mainly through photographs and short videos, she has been determined to show different aspects of her life and her culture. She returned for a visit to Iran after the 1990 revolution in which sparked her passion for taking photos of the events and soon turned to a more artistic approach. Once she was back in the U.S., she quickly started a series of works called “Women of Allah” (Müller).
With “Speechless” and several other similar pieces such as “Rebellious Silence” she was able to put a visual characteristic to the prohibition of women rights. In “Speechless” unlike most artist Shirin has brought art to life in photographs and video, not paintings, capturing real women and real emotion. Clearly visible, the barrel of a gun is sticking out from a females head dress and calligraphic text is scrolling across her face contrasting how women cannot express themselves without having to worry about being punished or even executed. With this work of art and all of Shirin Neshat’s work, she has spoken out and let the world now how women feel about being oppressed and being restricted in their daily lives. Her government will never be able to stop her speaking out now and she has shown that she can resist through passion and art.
Speechless, Away Over Seas, Katrin Bettina Müller 

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