Using the human body as her canvas, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat explores the changing role of women in contemporary Iran at an exhibition in the Spanish capital.
Her series of work, entitled ‘Written on the body’, features intricate Farsi writing drawn onto the hands, faces and chests of her subjects.
Forming part of the Spanish PhotoEspana 2013 show, the exhibition aims to explore the lives of Muslim women, as well as reflecting on Iran’s younger generation.
“This exhibition offers a reflection of the Muslim society, its past, its present and its future, especially the future of spring times, summer time in the young generations,” said David Arranz of the Telefonica Foundation which is behind the show.
Born in 1957 in the Iranian city of Qazvin, Neshat left her native Iran before the Islamic revolution in 1979.
When she returned to her homeland, she said she was shocked by the changes in women’s roles in an Islamic society, and set out to explore this change in her work.
“This exhibition tries to show how Muslim society has changed and above all how the West world must review them, review the new women, a women different, a women that reads, that learns, that looks to West,” Arranz said.
The Madrid display, which comprises 20 photographs and two videos, also includes a photographic series inspired by the classic Persian poem the ‘Book of Kings’ and the short movie ‘Zarin’, which was part of the winning film ‘Women without Men’ at the Venice Film Festival in 2009.
The exhibition runs until September 1.