Shirin Neshat’s story stretches from her birthplace Iran to New York, where she lives and works and to far-flung corners of the world. Hosted by Dirimart, the artist’s ‘Land of Dreams’ exhibition is a selection of her recent work.

Iranian artist and film director Shirin Neshat has found global acclaim with her success in film, video, and photography. Her work is about building bridges between contradictions by using dichotomies such as Islam and the West, men and women, antiquity and modernity. As a young woman, Neshat had to leave her country after the Islamic revolution in Iran. Living life in exile in the USA, she developed a creative narrative that reflected her experiences. As a leading contemporary artist with a unique attitude, Neshat was named ‘Artist of the Decade’ by Huffington Post writer G. Roger Denson in 2010.

Featuring her recent work, Land of Dreams brings together more than 100 photographs and a two channel film installation. This time, Neshat focuses on the realities and the people of her new home, the USA. The 111 portrait photographs document the personal repercussions of the Trump administration’s repressive immigration policies shaped by white supremacy and extreme racism.

The two channel video installation and a feature film that was edited according to the photographs, provide a versatile and surreal look at contemporary American culture. With a promising cast including the likes of Matt Dillon, Sheila Vand, Isabella Rossellini, Christopher McDonald, and Anna Gunn, Neshat’s third feature film, also titled Land of Dreams, will be screened simultaneously at the 41st Istanbul Film Festival.

The first video in the series is ‘Land of Dreams’. The video has both an imaginary and documentary nature due to its conceptual framework that has its creative origins in New Mexico in 2019. It also marks a turning point in the artist’s perception of the Western world and a new chapter in her productive style. Starring an Iranian photographer named Simin, the video brings New Mexican landscapes to life in a fictional story through the use of cinematographic imagery. The occasional use of dystopian images also builds on the imaginary aspect of the project. Neshat combines traditional Iranian calligraphy culture with Hispanic, African American and Native American portraits, which are the building blocks of New Mexico, to skilfully present the dynamics of society with her unique perspective.

The second video titled ‘The Colony’ is a dystopian story in which Simin becomes an Iranian spy tasked with filing the dreams and portraits of the people she meets. Using striking images and political satire, these videos make people think about people suffering from social, political and economic injustice.

Hosted by Dirimart, the Land of Dreams exhibition will be open to the public between 9 April 9 and May 22, 2022. Witnessing the collision of social and cultural dynamics through the eyes of Shirin Neshat is an unmissable experience. Visit for the latest on screening schedules during the festival.