Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-28 um 11.54.45


Press preview with accreditation:
Wednesday, 10. May 2017 | 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday, 11 May 2017 | 10 am – 6 pm
Friday 12 May 2017 | 10 am – 6 pm

SHIRIN NESHAT. The Home of My Eyes
collateral event of the 57th International Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia
Press preview:
Wednesday 10 May 2017 | 12 noon
Curated by Thomas Kellein
Exhibition: 13 May – 26 November 2017
San Marco, 52 30124 Venice
Entrance for the public:
St. Mark’s Square, Napoleonic Wing,
Monumental Staircase

SHIRIN NESHAT. The Home of My Eyes
Works by Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, including a selection of photographs from The Home of My Eyes series (2015), and her new video Roja (2016). These works represent a shift in Neshat’s practice, as they depart from works that focus primarily on her own Iranian society and instead reflect on other cultures.
Portraying the diverse people of Azerbaijan, Neshat’s The Home of My Eyes series comprises 55 photographic portraits inscribed with ink. The artist conceived of the series as “a portrait of a country that for so long has been a crossroads of many different ethnicities, religions, and languages.” Only separated from Iran in the first half of the 19th century, Azerbaijan especially resonated with Neshat, as it shares much of the same history, religion, ethnicity, and culture with her native country.
In the series, Neshat captures the individual character of her subjects in frontal, close-up portraits. While the subjects range in age and ethnicity, Neshat unites them formally by staging them in similar clothing and poses, against a dark background. Their specific hand gestures reference Christian religious paintings, most notably those of El Greco. The series additionally explores the subjects’ individual voices. During production, Neshat spoke with them about their perspectives on cultural identity and the concept of home. Neshat then composed texts, which are calligraphically inscribed across the portraits, from both the sitters’ responses to the notion of homeland, and from poems by Nizami Ganjavi, a 12th century Iranian poet who lived in what is present-day Azerbaijan.
Shirin Neshat, “Ilgara”, from “The Home of My Eyes” series, 2015,
Silver Gelatin Print and Ink, 152.4 x 101.6cm (40 x 60 in), Courtesy Written
Art Foundation, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
While in The Home of My Eyes, Neshat examines a culture quite close to her own, in the video Roja, she reflects on her own experience of living in the foreign culture of the United States. Roja, based on Neshat’s personal dreams and memories, traces an Iranian woman’s nostalgia for her homeland. The protagonist is simultaneously pulled towards and pushed away from both her original and adopted homes. Employing a surrealist lens and nonlinear narrative, Roja captures feelings of displacement, blurred lines between reality and fiction, and tensions between the past and present.
Shirin Neshat, born in the provincial capital of Qazvin in 1957, lives in New York. Her early photographic work includes the Women of Allah series (1993-1997), which explores the question of gender in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and militancy. Her more recent photographic series include The Book of Kings (2012) and Our House Is on Fire (2013). Each series could be seen as an allegorical representation of a country and as a group of humans unfolding in history, whether as heroes or as wounded people who survived a collective trauma. The Home of My Eyes (2015) was commissioned by the YARAT Art Center in Baku. In 2009, Neshat directed her first feature-length film, Women Without Men, which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director during the 66th Venice International Film Festival. She is currently completing on her second feature-length film, Looking for Oum Kulthum  2017
As a collateral event of the 57th International Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, the Museo Correr will present 26 of Neshat’s portraits from The Home of My Eyes, together with Roja, at the Sala di Quattro Porte on the third floor, within the collection at the Piazza San Marco.
The Written Art Foundation and the Art of Writing Collection are grateful to Shirin Neshat for her extraordinary achievement to exhibit these works. The Written Art Foundation in Frankfurt am Main, Germany was founded in 2011 to foster the art of writing through exhibitions, symposia and publications. It supports artists whose work allows cultures and values different from ours to inspire and to educate us, thus promoting a peaceful exchange and the idea of world citizenship.
Curated by Thomas Kellein A Written Art Foundation Project

Portraits of Venice and Other Portraits
Press preview:
Wednesday 10 May 2017 | 12 noon
Scientific direction Gabriella Belli
Curated by Jean Clair
Exhibition: 13 May – 10 September 2017
San Marco, 52 30124 Venice
Entrance for the public:
St. Mark’s Square, Napoleonic Wing,
Monumental Staircase
Roger de Montebello, “Porta delle Terese”, 2014, oil on canvas, 140x190cm
Roger de Montebello is a Franco-American painter who was born in Paris and raised in a family of art lovers. After specialising in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Seville, Spain, he went on to graduate in art history from Harvard University. In 1992 he moved to Venice, where he opened his own studio.
His work could be defined as “borderline”, at the divide between abstraction and representation, and always guided by an aesthetic of light employed with great efficacy. The effects of this hover between thought and feeling, enabling him to adopt an almost metaphysical approach to exploring details of objects or people, doors on water, trees, faces, or architecture along Venice’s canals, with the images mirrored in the water.
René Huyghe, former curator of the Louvre department of paintings, wrote of Montebello’s work: “Light, colour and three-dimensional form demarcate the talent of painters. Roger de Montebello’s knows how to link them together in equal degree in his work, and because of this it is endowed with an exceptional richness”.
Scientific direction Gabriella Belli Curated by Jean Clair

Masterpieces of the French drawing from Prat Collection
18 March – 4 June 2017
Piazzale Roma: Line 1, Vallaresso or San Zaccaria stop;
Line 2 Giardinetti stop; Line 5.1 or Line 4.1, San Zaccaria stop

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