Emotional Intensity in Shirin Neshat's Black and White Photography, Speechless

Emotional Intensity in Shirin Neshat's Black and White Photography, Speechless

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In “speechless” Shirin Neshat’s black and white photography of a half of her face wearing a black veil. Having focus on the proportions of the face gives an emotional intensity manifested in her melancholic facial expressions. It also brings the audience to a close exposure, which uncovers the truth by digging more into those lame details. One eye is directly looking at that revealed, powerful, and muscular look that obviously referred to “women in mourning” theory by her desperate look of supressed freedom and deep sorrow.

The gun may look like a vicious circle, but when we get closer we realise that it is a gun, which symbolizes the social violence used against this suppressed woman. The geometric forms emphasize the perspectival ideology about women in Islam. The gun is simply interpreted power, and essentials of protection that makes a connection between freedom and oppression that was a major conflict with Neshat’s real life. The waves of the black cloth show a part of her veil, still the darkness makes it look very vague and absurd. In Islamic culture veil signifies to protection but Iranian society used it as a means of suppression, and accordingly the veil was spread widely during the Islamic revolution in Iran. The shape of the black veil is slightly unattached to show the struggle between women’s desire in freedom and religious provision.

The woman’s face was blurred and covered by those written sacred verses from the Quran on her face. Face is a powerful emotional body part that exposes the inner feelings, but here in this artwork it was meant to suppress all this facial power to reflect how a Muslim woman in Iran is being neglected under the name of religion, though all reli...


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...connection between symbolizing cultural issues, and women in Islam by using three basic elements. Neshat’s photograph has a cultural perspective, and psyche effect on women; it communicates with women who fight for liberty, and rights, and who expect to see cultural, and social improvements. The challenge of her work has interpreted the role of women especially women in Islam. The morality of her work is building the opposite reality of Islam that most people see it biased and violence. Her philosophies of her art have reflected her real life by revealing her experience since she was exiled from her native country because of the immoral ideology of Islam in Iran. “Speechless” photograph artwork has introduced the concepts of feminism art, which is expressing women’s feeling through media. This form is frequently referred to Neshat’s artwork especially “speechless”.

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