Shirin Neshat in P.S. 1’s "Not For Sale"

I was at P.S. 1 recently to check out Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker (see above), but got totally distracted by another show called Not For Sale.
The show is comprised of really varied works that have one thing in common: their creators say they would never sell them. I was delighted to find that Iranian artist Shirin Neshat is part of the exhibit. The work she won’t sell is above, and the reason she won’t sell is below (click on the photos to see larger images).
Neshat’s is one of the first Iranian names I saw when I moved to New York this past summer, on the spine of this book which bears her name (and which is highly recommended, by the way). I was broke and unemployed, but I promptly bought the book because it evoked an incredible homesickness (for Los Angeles and specifically Westwood, strangely enough). Seeing her photographs as part of the P.S. 1 show gave me the opposite feeling this time, helping me to orient myself in the usually alienating and intimidating space that is nearly every art gallery. Quite a nice feeling, I must say, though I think it’s probably one that occurs whenever you recognize the work of an artist you like from across the room, regardless of whether or not they share your heritage.

By the way, P.S. 1 is a really fantastic space and absolutely worth visiting; it used to be a school, so a lot of the rooms are really small and intimate, which makes it feel more labyrinthine so you don’t feel like you’re being watched all the time (like you are at the big M&M). There’s a sort of scavenger-hunt vibe about the place, hence my forgetting to see Abbas Kiarostami. I highly recommend visiting to see Not For Sale, which ends April 30. And just so you don’t do like me and get lost in the maze, don’t forget Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker, which ends April 29.

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