Shirin Neshat - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Europe

  • Literature

    S. Tadesco, ed., Shirin Neshat, Milan, 2001, p.23 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Shirin Neshat is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished Iranian artists of the post-revolutionary era. Gaining international praise and recognition for her highly original ink embellished portraits of Iranian women, Neshat’s photographs provide profound insights into the effects of conflict, religion and sexism on the Iranian female psyche. After her initial portraits of individual figures embellished with decorative and textural overlay, Neshat went on to working in raw photography, using tense, atmospheric environments in which to situate women who were often depicted either collectively enraptured by religious euphoria or singularly portrayed in contrived settings. The present piece is a depiction of the latter kind, and comes from Neshat’s “Pulse” series, in which the artists places her subjects in a dark, brooding chambers which bear the hallmarks of both bedrooms and cells. In the present photograph we are presented with a room, which although vast and spacious, feels restrictive and claustrophobic, and a scene which, whilst appearing  physically static, is itself fraught with tension. A barred crevice near the ceiling reveals a meek ray of light, casting the figure as a captive, who herself crawls in a supplicatory position before a television set, her only source of human contact. The image reminds us of the harsh realities surrounding the private lives of Iranian women; caged, restrained, and suffocated, they not only become captives within their own environments, but are ultimately victims of a society whose sexual prejudice forces them to live out a repressed existence.


Pulse Series

Gelatin silver print.
40.6 x 61 cm. (16 x 24 in).
Signed, titled, numbered of 10 and dated "Shirin Neshat 'Pulse' series, 2001" on the reverse.  This work is from an edition of 10.

£3,000 - 5,000 

Sold for £4,375

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm