Written on the Body.
Photographs by Shirin Neshat. Introduction by Octavio Zayas. Text by Shahram Karimi.
La Fábrica/Fundación Telefónica,
104 pp., illustrated throughout, 8½x10½".
Since her 1994 series Women of Allah, Shirin Neshat (born 1957) has been exploring the status of Muslim women, dealing with both their search for cultural identity and the prejudices they must confront in the West. In this book, through a selection of her photographs, short films and video projections, the artist explores the differences between male and female spaces in Islamic societies, and how men and women are segregated physically, psychologically and professionally, confining inter-gender relationships exclusively to the private sphere. The veil and calligraphy are recurring motifs in this volume. The calligraphic prints Shirin Neshat uses on her subject’s faces, hands and feet are a means to communicate the many interpretations of the situation of Muslim women generally, and particularly in the Islamic Republic of Iran.