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The nonlinear narrative of the exhibit provides a glimpse at Neshat's art and life, as well as the trajectory of modern Iran – from the 1953 coup through the 1979 Islamic Revolution to the recent Green Movement.Neshat has not returned to Iran since 1996 and, though she insists her exile is "self-imposed," her work is so controversial there that it has yet to be shown publicly.In "Fervor" (2000), a woman dares seek the gaze of her beloved, while in "Rapture" (1999) the women embark on a boat, leaving the men behind, for what could be interpreted as either suicide or freedom.Each piece in the trilogy features split screens dividing men and women, a theme taken up in more mystical fashion in her five-part video series "Women Without Men," which was later made into a feature film.For "Book of Kings," her monumental series of photo portraits, Neshat inscribed her subjects with calligraphic texts and illustrations from the ancient Persian epic poem "Shahnameh".For more, see http://hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/shirin-neshat/#collection=shirin-neshat.
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