From February 4 and until March 20, La Fabrica Galeria
presents the work by Shirin Neshat, who will show, at her first solo exhibition at La Fabrica Galeria, "Faezeh" (2008) and the serie "Games of Desire" (2009).
Neshats work engages the viewer through powerful images, sweeping scores, and evocations of human passions and desires, while examining the social tropes that both stratify and unite. Neshat pitches these dialectics of East/West, man/woman, and oppressor /oppressed, to such a degree that these seemingly immutable polarities become malleable locations for query. In two new films and accompanying photographs, Neshat continues her exploration of Shahrnush Parsipurs novel 'Women Without Men'.
Faezeh explores the anguish of a religious woman whose dreams of marriage and family are shattered by rape. Escaping the city to a magical orchard, she encounters visions of a veiled woman driving her to madness. This piece ultimately captures the emotional, psychological breakdown of a Muslim woman whose entire sense of conviction, morality and religious faith is crushed after a sexual assault. Uniting three of the characters from the novel, Neshat explores the unique sexual, political, psychological and religious dilemmas that emerge during this pivotal time in Iranian history.
While still questioning binaries such as man and woman or East and West, Games of Desire project situates itself in Laos eschewing the visual vocabulary of the Middle East. The photographs of this proyect explore the tradition of the lam, a Laotian custom of reciting courtship songs. In this fading tradition, now almost exclusively enacted by the elderly men and women who are its only torch-bearers, a man and a woman will sing-address each other, pitching woo until this exuberant brinksmanship of desire becomes a witty repartée of bawdy and charming improvisations. Far from seeking an anthropological product, the artist show the true feelings that are behind this ritual.
As the artist states, "Men and especially women seem to relish this opportunity to playfully transgress the strict codes that define gender roles and regulate sexual expression in their everyday lives." Neshat will present photographic portraits of the men and women embellished with the Farsi translations of the lam, linking the cultural traditions and political histories of Laos and Iran.
Shirin Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran, and moved to the United States in 1974 where she currently lives and works. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous museums, including Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Dallas Museum of Art; Wexner Center, Columbus; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Serpentine Gallery, London; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Leon, Spain; and the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. Shirin has been included in Documenta XI, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial. She was awarded the First International Award at 48th Venice Biennale, the Hiroshima Freedom Prize, and the Lillian Gish Prize. In 2008, her solo exhibition "Women Without Men" opened at the ARoS Kunstmuseum, Denmark; traveled to the National Gallery of Contemporary Art in Athens and it will open at the Kulturhuset Stockholm in the fall.