Still from Shirin Neshat's Rapture, 1999
Current Exhibition
Shirin Neshat:
Facing History
May 18 to Sep 20, 2015
Second Level
Shirin Neshat, I Am It's Secret (Women of Allah), 1993

In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat (Iranian-American, b. Qazvin, 1957) examines the nuances of power and identity in the Islamic world—particularly in her native country of Iran, where she lived until 1975. Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice. Included are the “Women of Allah” photographs that catapulted the artist to international acclaim in the 1990s; lyrical video installations, which immerse the viewer in imagery and sound; and two monumental series of photographs, The Book of Kings, 2012, and Our House Is on Fire, 2013, created in the wake of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring. Commenting on freedom and loss, Neshat’s deeply humanistic art is at once personal, political, and allegorical.



Meet the Artist


Inspired by Forough Farrokhzad
Saturday, July 18
Film and Conversation: Inspired by Forough Farrokhzad

2 pm | Meyer Auditorium


Sussan Deyhim, a renowned composer, singer, and performance artist who has collaborated on many of Neshat’s video works, has spent the last three years developing a multimedia project dedicated to the life and work of Farrough Farrokhzad, a leading feminist poet who had a profound influence on modern Iranian art and culture. A screening of Farrokhzad’s acclaimed documentary The House is Black, will be followed by a short talk by Deyhim, interview footage from 1963 between Farrokhzad and Bernardo Bertolucci, and a conversation with curator, Carol Huh.


For more information, visit the Freer|Sackler event page.

Abbas Kiarostami: Five Dedicated to Ozu
July – September 13, 2015
Shirin Neshat, Rapture Series (detail), 1999. Photograph taken by Larry Barns. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

6:30 pm | Freer|Sackler


From July to September 2015, the Freer|Sackler features a series of programs highlighting contemporary moving-image works from Iran. The series opens with Five Dedicated to Ozu (2003, 74 minutes) by celebrated director Abbas Kiarostami. Presented as a single-screen projection, Five pays tribute to Yasujirō Ozu, the renowned Japanese filmmaker whose work has deeply influenced Kiarostami’s films. Through a characteristic attention to the power of simple mise-en-scène and sound, the inherent drama and subtle humor of nature unfurls before the viewer in five long shots taken near the sea.


Additional programs in the series include screenings of works by documentary filmmaker Bahman Kiarostami. For more information, please visit This series is presented in conjunction with Shirin Neshat: Facing History at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Portraying History: Gender and Politics in Iran
NOTE NEW DATE: September 9, 2015
Shirin Neshat, I Am It's Secret (Women of Allah), 1993

6:30 pm | Ring Auditorium


This program brings together artist Shirin Neshat and Nazila Fathi, author of The Lonely War:  One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran, to discuss the role of women in Iranian society. Moderator Tyler Green edits and writes Modern Art Notes and is the US columnist for Modern Painters magazine.


Presented in collaboration with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Hirshhorn Instagram
Hirshhorn Tumblr