About This Artwork
Shirin Neshat’s photographs and videos address individual freedoms under attack from or repressed by social ideologies. Throughout most of Neshat’s career, she has been exiled from Iran, an outside observer of Islamic law’s increasing effects on the country’s women and daily life. The breadth of Neshat’s work extends beyond identity politics, however, as she confronts issues with universal impact, such as sexual desire, personal autonomy, and social subjugation. Possessed, starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and with a soundtrack by Sussan Deyhim, presents a woman without chador, the traditional Islamic veil, madly roaming the streets of an Iranian city. She is completely ignored until she takes a platform, where her private suffering becomes public and political. The gathering crowd debates her mania and subsequently assumes the traits of her madness, while she slips away unnoticed.