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Shirin Neshat

The Fury

A person is clinching their hands to their chest
Flavia, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels .

In September, Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat makes her entrance at Fotografiska Stockholm. The Fury is an exhibition of new works which focuses on the sexual exploitation of female political prisoners.

Marry, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.
Marry, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.

Power and Protest

For decades, Shirin Neshat’s expansive body of work has focused on the problematics of the female body, and how it continues to be a contested space for sin, shame, violence, repression yet rebellion, power, and protest. 

Shirin Neshat’s new exhibition The Fury at Fotografiska Stockholm comprises a double-channel video installation and a series of black and white photographs with hand-inscribed calligraphy of poems by Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad. These multidimensional bodies of work continue upon her incisive artmaking practice that focuses on the female body as both a battleground for ideology and a source of strength. By questioning and drawing attention to the relationship between the masculine and feminine, the individual and the collective these highly charged images address issues of power within patriarchal societies.

“Made in the style of magic realism”
Shirin Neshat

“I see everything in the form of duality. Visually and conceptually, everything is based on some notion of opposites. Visually often black and white, my work is made in the style of magic realism, surrealism, and dreams. Thematically, the narratives are always politically charged and disturbing yet emotional, poetic, and beautiful” says Shirin Neshat.

Seema, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.
Seema, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.

In a highly fictionalized and stylized way, Neshat’s new video installation addresses the sexual assault of female political prisoners subjected to severe torture. Even after being released, many of the women are unable to recover emotionally from the trauma experienced in prison. The video traces the psychological and emotional journey of a young Iranian woman, who, although now lives freely in the United States, remains traumatized by her memories in captivity. Shown alongside this video is a new photographic series that focuses more directly on the female body as both an object of desire and of violence.

Daniela, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.
Daniela, from The Fury series, 2023, © Shirin Neshat.

Beauty, dignity, confidence, and pride

The nude portraits of a diverse selection of women convey a sense of beauty, dignity, confidence, and pride, yet pain, vulnerability, and trauma.

The Fury exhibition opens on September 1, 2023 and runs until February 18, 2024. All texts and photographs are exhibited with the permission of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York.

About Shirin Neshat:
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York. She has had numerous exhibitions in international museums and has also received several awards for her films, including the Golden Lion Award at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999). In 2009, Neshat directed her first feature film, Women Without Men, which won the Silver Lion Award for ‘Best Director’ at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.