Announcing Shirin Neshat at The Broad

broadFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2019

Media Contacts
Tyler Mahowald | tyler@hellothirdeye.com
Justin Conner | justin@hellothirdeye.com
Alice Chung | communications@thebroad.org

 

THE BROAD LAUNCHES UNPRECEDENTED SURVEY OF
GROUNDBREAKING ARTIST SHIRIN NESHAT

The Artist’s Largest Survey to Date and First Major Exhibition of Her Work in the Western U.S. Will Be on View October 19, 2019–February 16, 2020 in Los Angeles

shirinNeshatExhibitatthebroad

LOS ANGELES — This fall, The Broad will launch a new survey—the largest held to date— of internationally acc laimed artist Shirin Neshat’s work. The exhibition, Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again, will be on view from October 19, 2019, through February 16, 2020 , and is the renowned multidisciplinary artist’s first major exhibition to take place in the western United States. The artist has been in the Broad collection for 20 years, beginning with the 1999 acquisition of Rapture (1999)—the first multiscreen video installation to enter the collection.

Originated by The Broad, this exhibition surveys approximately 30 years of Neshat’s dynamic video works and photography, investigating the artist’s passionate engagement with ancient and recent Iranian history, the experience of living in exile and the human impact of political revolution. Taking its title from a poem by Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad (1934–67), the exhibition begins with her most famous body of work, Women of Allah (1993–97) and features the global debut of Land of Dreams, a new, multi-faceted project that was completed this past summer in New Mexico, and encompasses two videos and a body of photographs.

Arranged chronologically, Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again presents over 230 photographs and eight video installations, including iconic video works such as Rapture, Turbulent (1998) and Passage (2001), journeying from works that address specific events in contemporary Iran, both before and after the Islamic Revolution, to work that increasingly uses metaphor and ancient Persian history and literature to reflect on universal concerns of gender, political borders and rootedness.

“Shirin Neshat has inspired us for decades, and we are excited to be organizing the largest exhibition to date of her work,” said Joanne Heyler, founding director, The Broad. “Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again will share the powerful and beautiful work of an artist who gives voice to outsiders and exiles who have left their countries in the wake of political conflict. At a turbulent time of highly charged civic discourse around immigration and nationalism, this survey will offer an opportunity to consider new viewpoints and ideas, and for rich, open exchanges that examine our social, cultural and political conditions.”

Throughout her career, Neshat has constructed poetic worlds in which women and men navigate narratives that mirror interior and political realities. Inside of and against these metaphoric worlds, Neshat studies the specifics of both individual and cultural gestures and poses, often assembling and giving voice to real people who have lived through seismic events of recent history, including the Green Movement in Iran and the Arab Spring in Egypt.

“With the most thoughtful and imaginative approach, exhibition curator Ed Schad and The Broad have assembled a diverse group of work from my earliest to the latest offerings to reflect on the parallels as well as the evolution of my ideas from 1993 to the present. It has been rewarding to work closely with them on this show that can ultimately read as one cohesive narrative, presenting both my exploration of still photography as well as video installation,” said Neshat. “I Will Greet the Sun Again will offer a rare glimpse into my artistic journey and process as I navigate various cultures such as Iranian, Moroccan, Mexican, Egyptian and Azerbaijan, exploring topics that seem to be mainly concerned with my own unresolved issues in the world, such as the questions of identity, homeland, political oppression and religious fervor, as well as an individual sense of displacement and alienation.”

“Shirin Neshat has lived her life and made her art in between two different cultures, Iranian and American, and this existence has given her a poetic and penetrating ability to understand the physical and psychological borders of our world today: borders of nation, of gender, of exile and of spirit. Whether through studying contemporary events, the deep echoes of Persian history or the mysterious nature of dreams, Neshat vibrantly examines these borders, especially as she breaks through them,” said Ed Schad, curator and publications manager, The Broad.

The survey is accompanied by a full-color catalogue that includes essays by Schad; Farzaneh Milani, Farrokhzad’s biographer and an authority on Iranian literature and feminism; Godfrey Cheshire, a prominent writer on Iranian cinema and contributor to The New York Times, Film Comment and Criterion; and Layla S. Diba, curator and scholar of Qajar Iran and modern and contemporary art. The catalogue features a conversation between Neshat and Glenn D. Lowry, an Islamic scholar and the David Rockefeller director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Tickets are available now, and can be purchased in advance on The Broad’s website at thebroad.org . Same-day standby tickets are also available for purchase onsite each day the museum is open. All special exhibition tickets include same-day general admission access to The Broad’s third floor galleries, which feature a frequently changing selection of works from the Broad collection, one of the world’s leading collections of postwar and contemporary art. The Broad is offering free admission to Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7 p.m.) during the exhibition’s run.

Ticket pricing for the exhibition is:

  • $20 for adults
  • $12 for students (18+ with valid student ID)
  • Free for children 17 and under

The Farhang Foundation , a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation based in Los Angeles with a mission to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large, is The Broad’s cultural partner for the special exhibition. “Farhang Foundation is extremely proud and honored to be the cultural partner of this historic exhibition. Shirin Neshat is an Iranian treasure, and we look forward to celebrating her long career through this exhibition,” said Alireza Ardekani, executive director of Farhang Foundation.

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Image credits (from left): Shirin Neshat: Untitled (Women of Allah) , 1996; Land of Dreams video still, 2019; Ilgara , from The Home of My Eyes series, 2015; © Shirin Neshat/Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Additional Exhibition Details

For the first time in a major survey of Neshat’s work, the exhibition will feature all three subsets of Neshat’s iconic photography series, Women of Allah. The first wave, called Unveiling and evoking the words of Farrokhzad, presents the personal struggles of women caught between religiously rooted social codes and the forces and freedoms of their desires. The second wave finds its main voice in the poet Tahereh Saffarzadeh (1936–2008) and navigates Iran’s changing concept of martyrdom—a concept overly simplified and stereotyped by the West. The final—and rarely shown—wave in this series was shot on Neshat’s last trip to Iran in 1995, a body of work that features women inside of Iran in various poses of prayer and power.

Neshat’s 2001 collaboration with composer Philip Glass, Passage, will act as a pivot in the exhibition from Neshat’s early, personal work made specifically about living outside of Iran during some of the most turbulent times in the country’s history to new bodies of work which reflect universally on global political events such as the Arab Spring. Three galleries will be devoted to monumental photograph installations of The Book of Kings (2012), Our House Is on Fire (2013), and The Home of My Eyes (2015), a series of portraits shot in Azerbaijan. Never-before-seen in the United States, The Home of My Eyes was on view at the Museo Correr during the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2017 after debuting in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The second half of the exhibition features selections from Neshat’s most recent work, including the films Illusions and Mirrors (2016, featuring Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman) and Roja (2016), and an ambitious, new work, Land of Dreams, which was completed this summer and is making its global debut in Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again. Land of Dreams examines the ephemeral nature of dreams as a window into the anxieties of the political moment, functioning as a critique and satire of both Iranian and American political systems while also showing the shared humanity and vulnerability of those living under social, political and economic injustice. The two videos in Land of Dreams feature an Iranian woman, Simin, making her way through the western United States as a photographer. In the process of her work, she not only collects portraits, but also the dreams of her American subjects, which she takes back to be logged at a mysterious colony. Land of Dreams also includes a new group of portraits of Americans of different backgrounds, ages and genders from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Farmington in the Navajo Nation, to Las Vegas, Nevada. The portraits will be installed in varying sizes in one immersive gallery.

Neshat left Iran when she was 17 years old to complete her studies at the University of California at Berkeley, after residing initially in Los Angeles. Due to the turbulence of the Islamic Revolution (1978–79) and the Iran-Iraq war (1980–88), Neshat continued to live outside of her home country. She first gained renown for Women of Allah, as well as immersive videos such as Rapture and Possessed (2001), both in the Broad collection. Along with Rapture and Possessed, The Broad’s photographs from Neshat’s Soliloquy series (1999–2000) will be on view in the survey. Neshat completed her first feature film, Women Without Men, in 2009, and recently debuted a new feature film, Looking for Oum Kulthum, in 2018.

Related Exhibition Programs

The Broad will present a dynamic series of public programs in conjunction with Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again with musicians, poets and authors exploring the feminism, mysticism and politics that are present in Neshat’s artistic practice. In addition to the programs listed below, The Broad will also screen Neshat’s two feature-length films, Women Without Men and Looking for Oum Kulthum (further details on these programs will be announced at a later date). Tickets and event information are available at thebroad.org/events.

The Broad @ ARRAY Presents Shirin Neshat and Garrett Bradley in Conversation
Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 3 p.m.
Location: ARRAY, 180 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90026
Tickets: Free (advance reservations will be available at thebroad.org/events beginning October 15)

The Broad @ ARRAY, an ongoing film and dialogue series in partnership with filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s nonprofit film collective ARRAY, brings together Shirin Neshat with filmmaker Garrett Bradley (whose films are featured in this year’s Whitney Biennial) at the new ARRAY campus in Historic Filipinotown. The event will begin with screenings of excerpts from Neshat’s new work, Land of Dreams, and Bradley’s short film, America, followed by a conversation with the artists on the themes of movements and migration across time and land, which are explored in their work.

The Un-Private Collection: Shirin Neshat
Sunday, October 20, 2019 | 6 p.m.
Location: Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012
Tickets: $25 (tickets include one-time, anytime access to Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again during the run of the exhibition)

The next program in The Broad’s Un-Private Collection series will present a conversation with Shirin Neshat, joined by her longtime collaborators, Shoja Azari and Ghasem Ebrahimian, moderated by Ed Schad, the curator of Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again. Sussan Deyhim, a frequent musical collaborator, will perform live music excerpts from Neshat’s films.

Free Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again Gallery Talks
Thursdays at 7 p.m. beginning Thursday, October 24 until Thursday, February 13, 2020
Tickets: Free with advance reservations (available at thebroad.org/events beginning October 1) or walk-up admission

For millennia, poetry and literature have been at the heart of Persian culture and identity, including being the foundation for much of Neshat’s artistic practice. To explore the centrality of poetry and literature in Shirin Neshat’s work, The Broad will collaborate with independent literary curators Louise Steinman and Maureen Moore for a series of free gallery events on Thursday evenings during the run of Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again. The Broad will be inviting poets, performers, filmmakers and other artists of varied backgrounds into the galleries to read, perform and reflect upon Neshat’s films, photography and installations, and to delve into the mysticism, metaphor, politics and feminism seen in Neshat’s photographs, which are adorned with literary references. Please note that there will be no gallery talks on October 31 (Halloween) , November 28 (Thanksgiving Day), December 26, and January 2.

Allegories of Flight
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | 8 p.m.
Location: The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $25 (available at thebroad.org/events beginning December 1)

Shirin Neshat’s influences include artists and filmmakers whose works embody “poetic, philosophical, and highly politically charged narratives and visual style,” and has stated that her own work—whether made in Morocco, Mexico, the United States or Iran—offers more questions than answers. Mysticism is important to Neshat’s practice and to Persian culture, where flight plays an important role as a metaphor for the freeing of the spirit. This event will include live music, poetry readings and performance featuring artists mining a plethora of themes found in Neshat’s work and Persian literature, including resistance, healing, metaphor and mysticism, to tell stories across a constellation of cultures and identities.

ABOUT THE BROAD 
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The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the museum offers free general admission and presents an active program of rotating temporary exhibitions and innovative audience engagement. The Broad is home to 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is one of the world’s leading collections of postwar and contemporary art, and welcomes more than 800,000 visitors a year.

The 120,000-square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, which has been loaning collection works to museums around the world since 1984. Generous support is provided by Leading Partner East West Bank.

For more information on The Broad and to sign up for updates, please visit thebroad.org.

ABOUT FARHANG FOUNDATION 
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Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications, and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints, or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions, or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation.