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    Sale 7619

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale

    21 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 373

    Shirin Neshat (b. 1957)


    Price Realised  


    Shirin Neshat (b. 1957)
    signed, titled and dated 'Shirin Neshat AP "Untitled" 1996' (on the reverse)
    ink on gelatin silver print
    38¼ x 55 1/8in. (94 x 140cm.)
    Executed in 1995, this work is from an edition of three

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    An American photographer of Iranian birth, Shirin Neshat rediscovered her country of origin in the wake of the 1979 revolution. The dramatic religious, political and social changes that Iran underwent struck her so forcefully that she chose to devote her entire art to Middle-Eastern society. The present photograph belongs to an early series titled 'Women of Allah', in which Neshat depicts Islamic women wearing chadors and tattooed inscriptions of decorative patterns, devotional prayers, or poems in Farsi. She uses the Islamic veil to explore and deconstruct stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed by religion but also empowered by their rejection of the Western imperialistic gaze. In this visually striking image executed in 1995, the woman conceals her face behind a rifle, which, with its masculine connotation, sharply contrasts with the erotic undertone of the decorative patterns. The weapon and the Islamic script also allude to Western perceptions of Islam as both impenetrable and threatening - an interpretation that is even more poignant in the current geopolitical context.

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    Anon. sale, Christie's London, 8 February 2001, lot 54.
    Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner and thence by descent.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the work is signed, titled and dated 'Shirin Neshat AP "Untitled" 1996' on the reverse.

    Pre-Lot Text



    M. Noire, Shirin Neshat. Women of Allah, Turin 1997 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 22).