New York

Shirin Neshat

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

Shirin Neshat’s transition from photographer to filmmaker is grounded in an ongoing examination of the everyday lives of Islamic women that is shadowed by her own exile from her Iranian homeland and her subsequent displacement to Morocco, where she has tapped into the energy of a fledgling women’s movement. When we watch Neshat’s films—which are paradoxically both short and epic—we are thus seeing something both personal and political.

How many locations, scenes, and events in Neshat’s work inform us about the actual texture of day-to-day life of women in the Middle East, whether from the perspective of an exile or of someone who has no choice but to remain? We can’t help wondering how much in her art might possess documentary value, providing a window onto the lives of those to whom virtually all forms of self-expression are denied. And we feel encouraged to weigh the informational content

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