Neshat in the News; Texte zur Kunst on the Art Market

In an article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Simone Wille visits the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat at her studio near Ground Zero in downtown New York City. In this biographical sketch, Wille traces Neshat's career from her student days at UC Berkeley to her return to Iran ten years after the revolution. “It became a kind of obsession for me,” explains Neshat, “to go back and to understand the course of events that led to the Revolution.” The journey apparently also inspired her to return to the art world after a long hiatus. While explaining the difficulties of maintaining a position between two divergent cultures, Wille's essay also takes a long look at the story behind Neshat's photographic series “Women of Allah,” 1993, and her video installation trilogy Turbulent, 1998, Rapture, 1999, and Fervor, 2000.

Meanwhile, in Berlin's Tageszeitung, Brigitte Werneburg surveys the current issue of Texte zur Kunst, in which editors Isabelle Graw and Barbara Hess present a wide range of articles and interviews exploring the changing dynamics of the current international art market. The increasing influence of regular auction sales, notes Werneburg, encourages a tendency to view, collect, and write on art in strictly economic terms. In the article, she points to the recent example of the Berlin-based photographer Thomas Demand, who became a celebrity after the spectacular sale of his work at the May Christie's contemporary auction. The auction’s sales figures were reported in the cultural sections of major newspapers across Europe. As Gérard Goodrow, auctions curator at Christie's explains, “For every auction, an Andreas Gursky, a Thomas Demand, a Damien Hirst, and a Sarah Lucas.” Goodrow admits, “It can be the same to us whether Gursky is ‘in’ next year or not. We don't represent him in the end.”