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Female Artists That Have Shaped the Cultural Landscape - Vogue
"“This is the third time in a number of years that I picked up a camera to take a portrait,” says Lorna Simpson, the award-winning photographer and multimedia artist who captured a series of portraits of her female contemporaries for Vogue. Her subjects span an array of mediums, identities, and professions—Pakistani sculptor Huma Bhabha sits in a shadow, assistant curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art Rujeko Hockley reclines in a shaft of sunlight on the stairs—but they all have one prominent thing in common: Simpson’s breathtaking admiration. “Some I have known forever, some not so long, and some whom I have not met personally until now,” Simpson says of photographing all 18 women in her personal studio in Brooklyn.

The space, already a place where much of her own work has come to fruition, has been near and dear to Simpson for 12 years. It was designed by the British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, whose most recent work was envisioning the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C. The fact that Simpson’s studio serves as a multiuse hybrid (a place for work, mentoring, gatherings, celebrations, business, archiving, and contemplation) mirrors her affinity for her subjects: “For many of the women in my life, art is central to their life and work.”

Women like Teresita Fernández, often known for large-scale, public sculptures (and as the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, as appointed by President Obama), or Jacqueline Woodson, author of the best-selling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming and winner of the 2014 National Book Award. Simpson herself mirrors such accolades, as she was the first African-American woman to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and, in 2001, was recognized with the Whitney Museum of American Art Award. “I have generally shied away from boxing the work that I do into set categories, but have always appreciated my freedom to make the work that I want to make at any point in my career,” Simpson says, of which these portraits are no exception.

Among all the educators, heads of institutions, musicians, poets, filmmakers, and writers featured, their resilience also sets them apart—and binds them to one another. “They don’t take no for an answer,” Simpson points out. “They are creative visionaries whose passions and work have shaped the cultural landscape.”"
artists  vogue  2017  lornasimpson  photography  joanjonas  mialocks  rinabanerjee  amysall  rujekohockley  humabhabha  shirinneshat  elizabethalexander  juliemehretu  thelmagolden  kelliejones  julianahuxtable  marlynminter  jacquelinewoodson  kimberlydrew  sarahsze  reinagossett  teresitafernández  laurenhudgins  rashidabumbray  merelewilliams-adkins  adrienneedwards  women  womenartists 
february 2018 by robertogreco
teachartwiki - Shirin Neshat, Women of Allah Series
"Shirin Neshat’s Women of Allah series (1993-97) is comprised of four photographs. Each of these photographs depicts an image of a veiled, tattooed, and armed Muslim woman. The cropped images of women’s body parts adorned with organic forms while holding weapons seem to cause confusion with viewers. The persistent and repetitive use of visual elements that demonstrate the stereotype of the Middle Eastern woman as violent and old-fashioned, help portray the women as inferior. Neshat started her art career with photography in the early 1990s, and her photo-series Women of Allah (1993-97) became particularly famous. In that series she explores the notion of femininity in relation to male authority and Islamic fundamentalism in her home country. The images are portraits of women that are overlaid by Persian calligraphy and they refer to the contrast she experienced between the traditional society she was raised in and the modern society evolving after the Iranian Revolution. In her art, she resists stereotypes – of both women and representations of Islam. Instead, her works explores all the complex social forces shaping Muslim women’s identity. Many of her photographs are actually mixed-media pieces of silver gelatin with ink. The calligraphy is Persian poetry about themes such as exile, identity, femininity and martyrdom. Neshat’s work revolves around concept, she has always been inspired by photojournalism and she feels that photography works best with her topics, conveying realism, immediacy, and a sense of drama.

Neshat’s Women of Allah series was the artistic result of her visit to a country transformed by Islamic fundamentalism. Although Neshat claims that her Women of Allah series is not about her, she admits that “it has evolved around my personal interest in coming to terms with the ‘new’ Iran, to understand ideas, behind Islamic fundamentalism, and to reconnect with my lost past.” (Bertucci,1997, p. 84-87.) The photographs in this series enables Neshat to emulate the Iranian Muslim women who during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war became important elements of propaganda and the moral aids in support of the country’s resistance against foreign assault and continue to serve as such in remembrances of that war. This series was made after Neshat’s visit to Iran in 1990, includes self-portraits of the artist, and all female subjects are clad in chador, hold guns and rifles, and feature bodies adorned with calligraphy in the Farsi language. Neshat’s photographs of the Iranian women pertain to the emergence of a new era in Iranian history following the end of the Pahlavi dynasty, an era marked by an emphasis on the distinction between the self and other, and the culture, sexual, and physical division brought by an Islamic government (Graham-Brown, 1988, p.1925).

Within these images, four distinctive and incongruent elements occupy the limited space, and they combine within the framework to create a threatening message: the softness of the veil’s fabric, the rigidity of the gun’s metal, the fluidity of the black ink, and the young women’s flesh appear to coexist amidst physical and material differences. The written calligraphy invokes the Iranian woman’s silence and her inability to have a voice. Because Neshat’s residence in the West allows her the freedom of expression, she covers the entire visible surface of her female figure with her chosen words. However, Neshat’s chosen words are in total compliance with the militancy of the veiled Iranian women in that they are poetic words supporting Iranian martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war. "

[See also:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/486834
http://unframed.lacma.org/2012/04/24/new-acquisition-shirin-neshat-speechless

https://www.eyeartcollective.com/women-of-allah-series/
"She states: “In 1993-97, I produced my first body of work, a series of stark black-and-white photographs entitled Women of Allah, conceptual narratives on the subject of female warriors during the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. On each photograph, I inscribed calligraphic Farsi text on the female body (eyes, face, hands, feet, and chest); the text is poetry by contemporary Iranian women poets who had written on the subject of martyrdom and the role of women in the Revolution. As the artist, I took on the role of performer, posing for the photographs. These photographs became iconic portraits of willfully armed Muslim women. Yet every image, every women’s submissive gaze, suggests a far more complex and paradoxical reality behind the surface.”"

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.act2080.0038.207
https://www.artsy.net/artwork/shirin-neshat-rebellious-silence-from-women-of-allah-series
"Internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat takes on loaded themes in photography, film, and video works that delve into issues of gender, identity, and politics in Muslim countries, and the relationship between the personal and political. Her film Women without Men (2009), which won the prestigious Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, follows four women—including a political activist, a prostitute, and a would-be mother—set in the context of 1950s Iran and featuring surreal elements to convey the psychological states of her characters. More recently Neshat has collaborated with American artist Larry Barns, taking portrait photographs of elderly, low-income Egyptian workers, including mechanics, street peddlers, teachers, grandmothers, and housewives, exploring the hardship experienced by individuals living under tumultuous regimes. “Today, again in the comfort of my sanctuary in New York, I look back and wonder how they are,” she says. “What is the future for Egypt? Is there any hope for return of that revolutionary fervor which seemed so pure, beautiful, and powerful?” Neshat has also collaborated with composer Philip Glass and the singer-songwriter Sussan Deyhim."

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/global-contemporary/a/neshat-rebellious ]
shirinneshat  art  photography  gender  film  video  violence  iran  egypt  islam  philipglass  sussandeyhim  politics  larryburns 
july 2017 by robertogreco

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