Logic of the Birds is a new performance-film installation work by Iranian-born visual-media artist Shirin Neshat and Iranian-American experimental vocalist Sussan Deyhim that explores the mystical and ancient roots of Iranian society and its modern adaptations.
WAC Unbound #5: Shirin Neshat and Sussan Deyhim: Conference of the Birds
Shirin Neshat/Sussan Deyhim/Shoja Azari/Ghasem Ebrahimian
Logic of the Birds
JUNE 20-23, 2002,
$24 ($20 WALKER MEMBERS)
Logic of the Birds is a new performance-film installation work by Iranian-born visual-media artist Shirin Neshat and Iranian-American experimental vocalist Sussan Deyhim that explores the mystical and ancient roots of Iranian society and its modern adaptations. Working in collaboration with writer Shoja Azari and cinematographer Ghasem Ebrahimian, Neshat and Deyhim have created a work that embraces texts from Sufi poetry of the Islamic Renaissance and skillfully combines the sensuality of cinema, the otherworldly extended vocal journey of Deyhim's music, and the dramatic poetics of theater. Co-commissioned by the Walker, the work centers on the experimental vocal soundscapes performed live by Deyhim and the film and physical installation by Neshat. The artists blur the lines between live performance, film, theater, electronic sound, and acoustic vocal work. Premiering in conjunction with a Walker exhibition of Neshat's work opening in June 2002. For more information on the recordings of Sussan Deyhim, please go to http://www.crammed.be/sussandeyhim
June 16-September 8, 2002
Galleries 1, 2, and 3
Shirin Neshat is one of a growing number of contemporary international artists whose work crosses boundaries of nationality, culture, and artistic medium. Born in Qazvin, Iran, Neshat immigrated to the United States at age 17 to attend the University of California. After 12 years, she returned to Iran for the first of several visits and found the country transformed by the Islamic Revolution. Her resulting sense of displacement and exile inspired the pieces in this exhibition. Using photography and video, she has produced a body of work that investigates the cultural conflicts resulting from the collision of tradition and modernity in the East and West. Organized by the MusÃ©e d'art contemporain de MontrÃ©al, this presentation is Neshat's first major solo exhibition in the United States and features six of her acclaimed video-and-sound installations and a body of related photographic work.
Neshat turned to the media of photography and video in an attempt to investigate the role of women and feminism in Islamic society as well as her own status as a self-imposed artist in exile. She considers herself a "passionate inquirer" who "prefers raising questions as opposed to answering them," and her timely and open meditations have solidified her reputation as a cultural cartographer of the spaces where opposites intersect and seemingly stable boundaries collapse.
In her trilogy of dual projection installations--Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), and Fervor (2000)--Neshat examines gender roles in Islamic society. In the first two works, each screen is occupied by actors of one sex, but the characters interact across the boundaries of the projection, listening, looking, and sometimes waving to each other. The viewer, seated within these installations, shares their meeting place. Soliloquy (1999), from the Walker's permanent collection, is a reflection on loss, memory, and dislocation. The dual projections that comprise this piece present the artist herself in both the West (filmed in Albany, New York) and the East (filmed in Mardin, Turkey) simultaneously. Pulse (2001) offers a glimpse of the complex interweavings underlying an apparently innocuous situation in which two voices seem to communicate. In Passage (2001), which is accompanied by a sound track from Phillip Glass, Neshat reflects on nature and culture and the meaning assigned to life and death.
In all of these works, the artist engages in an inquiring but ultimately humanistic investigation into the conflicted nature of contemporary identity in an increasingly globalized world. In Neshat's own words, she engaged in "universal dialogues while keeping within the specificity of the Islamic culture."
Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403