A woman’s world: Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ opens in Johannesburg

Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ video exhibition artwork.
Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ opens this week at the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg. Her first solo show on the continent comprises two new video installations, Roja and Sarah – two thirds of a trilogy exploring the world of women’s dreams
(Image credit: TBC)

Opening in Johannesburg this week, 'Dreamers' is a new show by Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat. Her first solo exhibition with the Goodman Gallery – and on the African continent – sees the introduction of two new video installations, Roja and Sarah, created this year.

Both are part of a trilogy of video installations exploring the world of women’s dreams (the first, Illusions & Mirrors was made in 2013 and premiered at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts). 'I have been haunted by the power of dreams for years,' says Neshat. 'I am fascinated by how in a state of dream, the boundaries in between madness and sanity, reality and fiction, conscious and subconscious are blurred and broken.'

According to Neshat, Sarah is 'about the unfolding journey of a woman as she recollects and breathes annihilation, as she faces residues of destruction, violence, genocide and mortality in a state of dream. Sarah’s anxieties and fears... force her to plunge into imagining her own death.' Even though the works are not set in a certain place or time, the context of a world in conflict is evident from the tone. Perhaps today, or even tomorrow?

'In my opinion, rational interpretations of dreams never seem to properly capture their true meanings and significance within [the] human psyche,' Neshat continues. 'So Roja and Sarah are an effort to make sense of the more subliminal emotional and psychic universe that lives deep inside of us, but is difficult to explain through words.'

Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ video exhibition. A screen on a white wall with a still from Roja 2016.

’I have been haunted by the power of dreams for years,’ says Neshat. ’I am fascinated by how in a state of dream, the boundaries in between madness and sanity, reality and fiction, conscious and subconscious are blurred and broken.’ Pictured: a still from Roja, 2016.

(Image credit: TBC)

Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ video exhibition. A a still from Roja 2016.

’In my opinion, rational interpretations of dreams never seem to properly capture their true meanings and significance within [the] human psyche,’ she continues. Pictured: a still from Roja, 2016.

(Image credit: TBC)

Iranian artist and film maker Shirin Neshat’s ’Dreamers’ video exhibition. A gallery of screens on white walls showing the various videos.

According to Neshat, Sarah is ’about the unfolding journey of a woman as she recollects and breathes annihilation, as she faces residues of destruction, violence, genocide and mortality in a state of dream’. Pictured: installation view.

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

'Dreamers' is on view until 14 September. For more information, visit the Goodman Gallery website (opens in new tab).

ADDRESS

Goodman Gallery
163 Jan Smuts Avenue
Parkwood
Johannesburg, 2193

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