Through February 16, 2020, The Broad in L.A. is showing a new survey—the largest held to date—of internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat’s work. The exhibition, Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again, 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).