Shirin Neshat: Rapture

Alsdorf Gallery

Rapture SeriesShirin Neshat,Rapture Series, 1999, gelatin silver prints. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Helyn Goldenberg, 2008.33.2 and 1. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.

Iranian-born Shirin Neshat has played a pivotal role in discourse about identity and gender in her native country and the Islamic faith.

Influential art critic Arthur Danto has called Rapture (1999), an 11-minute video and sound installation, Neshat’s masterpiece. Projected onto opposite screens, the highly-stylized Rapture shows what Neshat has called “an allegorical duel” between white-shirted men occupying a seaside fortress on one side and, on the other, black-veiled women moving from a desert to the beach outside the fortress. The stark beauty of the landscapes, the contrasting poses and actions of the actors, and the layered soundtrack create a hypnotic, encompassing experience.

Rapture is from the collection of Pamela and Richard Kramlich. Its presentation at the Block Museum is supported by the Myers Foundations, the Alsdorf Endowment, the ILEX Foundation, and the Evanston Arts Council.