Thursday 12 September 2019 - Sunday 12 January 2020,

Shirin Neshat. Matera 2019

Palazzo Lanfranchi Museum, Chiesa del Carmine – Matera
every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Free admittance

The Basilicata Museum Complex and MAXXI, in collaboration with the 2019 Matera-Basilicata Foundation, present two new video works by the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat.

During the Matera, 2019 European Capital of Culture, the Iranian artist presents two works taken from her latest feature film Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017) – co-produced and distributed in Italy by In Between Art Film and Vivo Film- starring Mitra, a director of Iranian origins whose dream is to create a film dedicated to the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum, who is loved throughout the Arab world. Dreamlike images overlap with historical reconstructions of the singer’s life and the story of Mitra’s existence, made even more tormented by her son’s death.

As if transported in a dream, in Remembrance we see a boy led by the singer’s voice in a sort of space-time labyrinth. The young man’s gaze reveals the many facets of Kulthum’s icon, her intimate and melancholy side and at the same time the strength of her stage presence and the deep desire for freedom. In the video In Trance the focus is on the mystical power of her music, capable of hypnotising listeners. In this reflection on the ecstatic experience linked to Kulthum’s voice, the fragility and uncertainties of the young singer, who questions how to emotionally approach her audience, emerge.

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A talk with Shirin Neshat together with the Director of the Basilicata Museum Complex, Marta Ragozzino and the MAXXI Arte Director, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi will be held on 11 September at 6:00 p.m. The filming will be open to the public following the talk, at 7:00 p.m.

Foto © Lyle Ashton Harris