Shirin Neshat   |   1999   |   5 min   |   Excerpt

The video depicts two performers – Shoja Azari, playing the role of the male, and Sussan Deyhim, an Iranian vocalist and composer, as the female — who together create a powerful musical metaphor for the injustices, inherent in gender roles, and cultural power in Iran. Listeners are immediately struck by the contrast between the male singer’s descriptive lyrics and traditional melody, and the woman’s completely abstract sound poem.

Shirin Neshat is a contemporary Iranian visual artist best known for her work in photography, video, and film,which explore the contrasts between Islam and the West, femininity and masculinity, public life and private life, antiquity and modernity, and bridging the spaces between these subjects.

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