Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arab women like Shirin Neshat are fighting negative stereotypes with art

By Menachem Wecker
"I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah)" (1993) by Shirn Neshat
The muzzle of a rifle peeks out from between two feet in Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat's 1994 print "Allegiance with Wakefulness." In the series and its "melancholic beauty," Neshat aims to show how "faith overcomes anxiety while martyrdom and self-sacrifice give the soul strength," she writes in the catalog to her current solo show at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall in Washington. U.S. museum visitors, who may not be intimately familiar with the Arab world and its gender dynamics, stand to gain a new understanding from viewing works by Arab women artists. [link]