Since the early 1990s, Shirin Neshat’s photography, film and video work has explored the issue of women’s experiences in relation to Islamic fundamentalism. Shirin Neshat left Iran in 1974 to pursue studies in fine art in the United States. During this time, the Islamic Revolution broke out in 1979, reshaping the political and social landscape in Iran and effectively preventing the artist from returning to her home country until 1990. On her return, Neshat was outraged by the ideological outcomes of this revolution and the alienating and repressive effects it had on women. Deeply troubled by these changes, Neshat returned to the United States to create her first photographic works from the series Unveiling (1993) and Women of Allah (1993-1997). At once provocative and filled with deep, poetic resonance, her work offers a glimpse into the complex cultural, religious, and political realities that shape the identity of Muslim women around the world.

Portait of Shirin Neshat.
Photo: Rodolfo Martinez