Shirin Neshat
Illusions & Mirrors, 2013
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
22.10.14 - 01.02.15

Shirin Neshat’s haunting new film confronts self with other, as we enter the gaze of a woman surveying tumbling surf and a windswept beach.

Illusions & Mirrors (2013) looks forward, perhaps with dread, to a future already lurking in shadowed, antique rooms – as Natalie Portman follows a man in black who appears on the shore, then hurries over the dunes to glide up stairs and through empty halls. She comes upon other, mysterious elements: a line of people on chairs along a wall, an older woman stroking the hair of “another,” of herself. Movement is cautious and tense, the narrative wordless and insinuating. Views fade and double, alternating clear and sharp with other, wavering scenes, like memories or hallucinations, portents of what-will-be. Finally we see Portman from a darkened window as she observes herself outside in sun and wind, back on the shore at the beginning.
—PG

Production still for Illusions & Mirrors, 2013 Video © Shirin Neshat; realized with support of Dior; courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Production still for Illusions & Mirrors, 2013 Video © Shirin Neshat; realized with support of Dior; courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Production still for Illusions & Mirrors, 2013 Video © Shirin Neshat; realized with support of Dior; courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Biography

Born in 1957 in Qazvin, Iran, Shirin Neshat is an artist and filmmaker living in New York. The Detroit Institute of Arts recently presented a major retrospective of Neshat’s work (2013). She has also held numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums internationally. She was also awarded the Grand Prix of the Gwangju Biennial (2000); the Golden Lion for best international artist at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999); the Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005); the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2006); and the Crystal Award, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland (2014). Neshat’s first feature-length film, Women Without Men, received the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in 2009. She is currently working on her second feature-length film, based on the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kolthum. Neshat is represented by Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

gladstonegallery.com/artist/shirin-neshat

Events
28.11.2014 Conference
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Learn more
Videos
Viennale-Trailer 2013: Illusions & Mirrors (by Shirin Neshat)