Soliloquy Series

Shirin Neshat
Soliloquy Series, 1999
Silver gelatin print
Work: 106.7 x 203.2 cm

This photograph is from Shirin Neshat's Soliloquy series. The film of the same name depicts a veiled woman, the artist herself, taking parallel journeys in two different cultural landscapes. In one channel she is depicted in a middle eastern city on the edge of the desert while in the other she is in a western metropolis. For most of the seventeen and a half minute duration of the work, the action in the films alternates between the two settings. “Soliloquy series returns to the problematic theme of exilic identity. Here again —perhaps for the last time—I have made myself the protagonist and the subject of my own inquiry. Through the opposition of East and West, Modern and traditional, displacement and memory, Islam and Christianity, biography and history, Soliloquy aims to offer a glimpse into the experience of a divided self in need of repair. The subject is shown standing at the threshold of two worlds, apparently tormented in one but exulted from the other,” says Neshat.