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Episode 67
Artist Shirin Neshat

  • 24 min read

Episode Description

A discussion with the iconic artist Shirin Neshat. Neshat has spent more than three decades making films, videos and photography that challenge viewers to consider topics of humanity, oppression, gender roles and faith within the complex social and political framework of Iran. In the conversation, we discuss her origins in Iran, her life in exile, how her work has evolved and her perspectives on the recent uprising in her homeland following the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the regime’s morality police.

https://www.instagram.com/shirin__neshat/?hl=en

https://www.gladstonegallery.com/artist/shirin-neshat/

https://www.thebroad.org/art/shirin-neshat

Transcript

Craig: [00:00:10] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I have the honor of speaking with the iconic artist Shirin Neshat. Neshat has spent more than three decades making films, videos and photography that challenge viewers to consider topics of humanity, oppression, gender roles and faith within the complex social and political framework of Iran. In the conversation, we discuss her origins in Iran, her life in exile, how her work has evolved and her perspectives on the recent uprising in her homeland following the death of Masah Amini in the custody of the regime's morality police. And now a discussion about dreams of home from a life in exile with artist Shirin Neshat.

Craig: [00:01:13] Shirin Neshat, thank you so much for joining me today on the Art Sense podcast. It's a real honor to have you join me. Shirin, a lot of times when I speak with artists, I like to start with a hypothetical, which is say, you're at a dinner party and you have been seated next to somebody who by chance doesn't know who you are or what you do, and they ask you, "What do you do? You say you're an artist. What is it?" How do you describe who you are and what your work is?

Shirin: [00:01:41] First of all, I just want to say it's really a pleasure to be a part of your program and thank you for your invitation. You're absolutely right. Because, you know, I'm a photographer by but I'm not really a photographer because I don't even own a camera. I'm a filmmaker, but I've never studied film and I've directed an opera and I've never studied any kind of theater or opera work. And so I'm very sort of self-trained. And also, most importantly, I never aimed at being an artist or being successful or anything like that. And that's been kind of good. So when I meet people who don't know me, I just say I'm an Iranian artist living in New York and leave the rest to their imaginations. But yeah, I think it's very hard to define, you know, who I am and what is my real focus, because I'm really cross-disciplinary in terms of my mediums. And I think more than a lot of artists, I'm also really politically engaged and sometimes I don't think about my work as much, but more about the socio political realities that are surrounding me. And sometimes I am an artist and my work is all about that. But so I'm not like always thinking about myself and what I do and all of that, which is very good.

Craig: [00:03:07] You're an Iranian artist who lives in exile here in the US. You grew up in, is it Qazvin, Iran?

Shirin: [00:03:16] Yes. Yes.

Craig: [00:03:17] Can you tell us a little bit about what life was like before the Islamic Revolution? How secular was Iran? Was it sort of like Turkey is today? What was what was childhood like for you?

Shirin: [00:03:30] Well, I grew up, as you said, in the city of Qazvin has been which is the third most religious conservative city in Iran. So I was exposed to more secular community like my own immediate family. My father was a doctor, very educated, spoke French, and yet he worked as a doctor in the middle of the bazaar, which is extremely conservative. No woman would enter without the hijab. And also, for example, just to give you an example, it was a kind of a sin to go to movie theaters (there was two movie theaters) so my father would never, ever show up. So what happened inside our house and the environment and their friends and family were very different than what was the outside at school. And so we were...I would say I grew up in a community that was deeply divided and conflicted between secular and non secular tendencies. And also, I must add that I grew up at a time where the growing interest in fundamentalism and fanaticism that came with Khomeini was brewing underground among young people, including many of my close friends. At this time, he was already exiled in Iraq, but there was a lot of student movements at universities that were not necessarily religious, but then there was a clergy and their activity, and then there were the pro-Shah people. So I grew up in this environment that was really the pre-revolution of 1979. And and it was a kind of yeah, it was a very complicated period to be in. And I think my father got sort of worried and immediately started to send his children outside, just imagining that soon the country was going under turmoil.

Craig: [00:05:29] If I remember the story correctly, your father sends you and your sister to California when you were when you were 15, right?

Shirin: [00:05:38] I was 17, yeah. And it was really difficult because, you know, I was really living in a very happy family, in a very friendly community. And when I was transported to U.S. to Los Angeles, which, you know, America became Hollywood, it was the opening to the Western culture in our mind in Iran. But I remember very vividly that immediately as I arrived, I fell into a deep depression, even as a young woman and I desperately wanted to go back and my sister went back, but my father insisted that it's not a good idea to go back to Iran. There was difficult to get into universities. In the meanwhile, the revolution broke out. And so I arrived in 1975, '76, I believe, and the revolution happened in '79, and then the doors came down. But so it was not a volunteer act, but again, my father, who was really concerned about again my generation, who were really responsible for bringing the revolution of 1979. And many of them were killed or they became mujahid or...it became very violent. And so, I think that was his intention. But consequently, we were separated for a decade or more.

Craig: [00:07:08]  In my understanding of your situation is one where you became more and more isolated from your family. It was one thing for the revolution, but then there was the war with Iraq and communication became more and more problematic, correct?

Shirin: [00:07:24] That's right. I mean, you have to imagine that myself as a young 17 year old woman without any family or relative in this country and being disconnected literally at the time, it was not even possible to make a phone call, more less mail. And so I was at UC Berkeley when the war broke out also with Iraq, also all the diplomatic relationship between Iran and U.S. ended. There was the hostages that were taken by Iranian students at the American embassy, so there was a huge anti-Iranian sentiment all across America, particularly in universities. And also I lost all financial help from the family. So I was emotionally, psychologically, politically and economically disconnected from...just in trouble. And these few years, I think, were pivotal for me as a young woman who felt completely isolated and not really having any family here to go to. And it was extremely difficult period for me.

Craig: [00:08:35] How did you decide to wind up studying art at Berkeley? How did you make the move north in California?

Shirin: [00:08:41] So as a young person in Iran, I mean, I had this romantic idea that I want to be an artist and there was no reason for it, because to be honest, no one, even remote family, would have any artistic inclination. So I don't know where this urge came from. And then when my sister left and I was alone, I had to find my way and I had to find ways to sign up in schools and nothing came to my mind than art to study. But obviously I was an extremely poor candidate because I was not mature enough as an artist. I and even at school at UC Berkeley, where I ended up doing undergraduate and graduate studies, I would say easily I was one of the weakest students and I was really struggling. Also just being politically volatile moment for me, but also I didn't have the intellectual maturity or even the artistic maturity to to be able to create something that was substantial. And so I was just sort of drifting in the art school. And I remember when I applied for graduate school from undergraduate, my professor came and one by one reporter who got in and he went to say, You got in, you got in. And when you got to me, he said, "You barely got in". And so I have to say I was quite paralyzed in every way. So I was making these pretty bad paintings that were sort of an integration of images and sort of paintings of Persian miniature types to a kind of more Western style. And it's very typical of people who come from non-Western culture. They feel like this hybrid style is the way to go. So,  and after I finished school, I was lucky enough to just say, I'm not going to be an artist. And I stopped altogether.

Craig: [00:10:43] Well, you know what? You say you stopped altogether. But when I've heard you speak about your time working with your then husband, with the Storefront for Art and Architecture, it's almost like you had a ten year residency learning about how to think deeply and research deeply. Can you talk about how that period kind of set the foundation for what your career became in the '90s?

Shirin: [00:11:09] I say I got very lucky because there must have been a hunger in me as an Iranian woman that I really wanted to learn. I wanted to be more than this artist who made superficial work. And I wanted to be somebody. And I think Kyong Park at the time, my husband, he's a true individual. And, you know, he came with this conviction of bridging art and architecture with social responsibility. That was his rhetoric. And he was an architect, but he was also an artist and he was a true intellectual. And then at that time in New York, this was rare. You know, this was obviously a not for profit organization. But what he had founded as a small shoestring organization was this idea that artists and architects could get involved in social political issues and and still make very meaningful and beautiful work of esthetics and design. There is no reason to separate the two. And and this is an ongoing conversation, I guess, today in the arts, do we have to really separate art that can have resonance and be politically charged and politically conscious from very esthetically high level work? And this was really his mandate.

Shirin: [00:12:36] And I think it really resonated with me as a young 20 year old who is deeply Iranian in a way that there is also was an activist in me like it was in Kooyong. He also organized protests. He organized us doing stencils about homelessness all across the city. We did very sort of anarchist type of work that no gallery would do. And so I think he became a huge influence in me as this possibility in being involved with arts, but not within purely market driven kind of fashion. And I say I'm lucky because I also saw the importance of learning from other artists, other architects, or people who whose work was really research-based and was really rich because of that. And I became like you said, a student. This became my foundation and education and and slowly opened my eyes and slowly leading to a self-discovery that perhaps I also have something to say and perhaps I can look within myself and find a kind of artistic language that could have meaning and yet be esthetically strong. And that's what I ended up doing.

Craig: [00:14:05] And it sounds like the catalyst or spark that kind of ignited that was a trip you were able to make in 1990 back to visit your your family in Iran and just seeing how your homeland had changed, Right?

Shirin: [00:14:20] Yeah. I mean, there's something so profound about the Iranian community in these last days that I've been inundated in the news about Iran and reminded of the days that I first returned to Iran. It is really hard to describe to non-Iranians the the atmosphere in Iran. And I'm sure those who are living in Iran very difficult for them to live it and explain it. But there is the energy and there is vitality and there is honesty and sort of rawness in people's in engagement, in art and politics and social realities that, you know, nobody does, in my opinion...a lot of times people artists don't do it just for success or climbing ladders or becoming somebody important. They're truly, truly invested in it because they're in the midst of history being made there, like their relationship to their audience or their fans or their people. It's so significant and that...it gives them such a healthy distance from, you know, being engaged in art or any kind of creative work just purely as a way of earning money or success. It's just those things take a real back seat, you see, and that kind of social engagement by creative people on the public level, it's extremely inspiring and exciting.

Shirin: [00:15:58] And for me, who came from New York, even though a storefront really was really deeply at grassroots organization, but to really now go in and see the struggle of the people, all my generation, what they have gone through and the way that they still exist and manage, it was just such a different reality than what I was used to. And it became very addictive. And I started to go back. And these days again, I'm taken back to that, that community and the kind of, you know, the challenges they face and yet the excitement and the euphoria that is experienced by living on the edge day after day and having a meaningful life that, you know, every day when you wake up, you have a duty to to fight for a change, to do something that has a bigger impact than having another show at a gallery or a museum or having your article. You see what I'm saying, there are priorities...I don't mean to exaggerate, but it's really hard to describe that to non-Iranians because we're not against the war like they have been.

Craig: [00:17:14] You know, that body of work that you created when you came back, the "Unveiling" and "Women of Allah" really gained you a lot of notoriety and it focused on the veil as concealing identity, trying to protect the male gaze from the sexual traps of the female body. But you also talk in "Women of Allah" about the veil being a symbol of solidarity with the religion, but also repression. I mean, do the current protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, does that indicate a crack in that solidarity?

Shirin: [00:17:51] It's really interesting because my obsession has always been about how problematic is the female body in Islamic culture, at least in my own country, and how it continues to be used as a kind of a battleground for ideological rhetoric. Where women, by putting on the veil, it's a mandate of the Islamic revolution of Iran, where they have to protect their own identity and their own rhetoric, and that by this kind of Islamization, you know, they can also cling in power. Like this is one of the biggest issues, they cannot relax the hijab because they worry, I'm sure, that if they let that that code go, everything else is going to crumble. Right? And then there are, of course, women that feel a sense of freedom by wearing the veil because they're rejecting the Western idea of clothing and just becoming Western. And so I understand that. But the Iranian women, like we have seen the last 11, 12 days, is that enough is enough to use my body as your tool for spreading rhetoric. Keep your religion at home. Let the hijab be a choice. I don't want anymore to allow you to use my body as as your weapon and they're succeeding. I mean, generation after generation, a lot of women...you know, this government has been in power since 43 years. We've had a number of times where people really tried, but women never succeeded. But this generation, age of 16-years-old to 20-something, are just fearless. And they said, "No, we refuse. And and we don't just want reform. We want you to go away faster". This is really amazing. And so I think this is remarkable. And you're right, the body, the female body has been central to my work, whether you're talking about through notion of fanaticism or through idea of feminism that comes from anti religious parties.

Craig: [00:20:11] You know, it's really interesting when I've listened to you speak about the enormous history of Iran and the arc of Persians and the Arab conquest and the rich cultural history, my perception is the history of Iran is so much larger and longer than the 40 years of this regime. There's the hope that this could be just part of a longer history because things have always changed in Iran.

Shirin: [00:20:43] But you put your finger in there. Really a good point, because you see the very core of Iranian people's grief is that we're conflicted between our Persian and Islamic history. And this regime basically has done everything they can to slowly eradicate the ancient Iranian history because their rhetoric is that Islam is one. So there is no boundary between Syria and Palestine, Iran and Iraq. And they see it as just Sunni versus Shia. And Iranians say, "no", you know, we are...Islam absolutely was brought by Arab conquest, as you mentioned,  but we have another history and this is our land, this is our identity, this is our history and you cannot now mix it in with all the Arab world, you see. And, you know, for example, they started to change names. They started to try to end Persian celebrations of historical nature. They've done everything, you know, the dress codes, you know, by putting on the hijab. And this has been the part of the protest of Iranian people of refusing this notion of Islamization to that degree of eliminating Persian ancient traditions and history. And so a lot of the younger generation are being going out of their way of, for example, renovating older Persian architecture or food or costumes, like a lot of women are designing things that go back. I mean, so literature, music, a lot of people in reaction to the government are sort of rejuvenating a lot of ancient part of Iranian tradition, which I think is really a remarkable form of protest. So, yes, we want an end to this idea. I mean, Islam has been my my grandmother was very religious. My mother is, but it's been always a very secular and not imposing practice. And the way that this government has for 43 years enforced a very rigid practice. It's just not in the nature of Iranian people. And they thought after some years it would infiltrate like and people will get used to it. But no, they haven't. They don't want it anymore. You know, they don't feel comfortable with this rigidity.

Craig: [00:23:26] Your early career was identified by the the work with the "Women of Allah" and "Unveiling". And people thought of you more as a photographer. And then in 1998, you created "Turbulent", which is a significant video. And it feels like a real kind of turning point in your career. Can you kind of talk about that video and what it kind of opened up for you?

Shirin: [00:23:52] Yeah, it's interesting because, you know, in all of my photographs I had, I had already started a kind of a vision that always portrayed the woman as the outcast or as rebellious, as defiant, as, you know, and with "Turbulent", which was really one of my first video works. If you remember, the woman was the one who sang this extremely untraditional music and had no audience and broke every rule of the traditional music. And from there on, this idea continued, No matter what the story was, the woman became the victorious. The woman became the defiant, the resilient, the protester, the rebellious. And because she was like, if you think about "Turbulent", there was a male singer who basically had an audience and sang this traditional, beautiful, classic music. But then when it came to the woman, she had no audience. And then therefore, her music also was just guttural and just was not tied to language. And there itself was the voice of a protest. It was a woman that screamed and cried and and and it needed no translation. It needed no translation at all. It's really powerful that, you know, a woman...and this was all inspired by the women of Iran, you know, and and then the work continued this trilogy in "Rapture", where the woman went to the sea and got on a boat and left or to "Furvor" where the woman walked...from there on anything I ever did, the woman left. The woman rebelled. The woman was the victorious one. But the women were also always against the wall. You see what I'm saying? And that is exactly the character, the identity of Iranian women today. And it was then. And that's how I see it, and that's why I depicted it the way I did, because it's all rooted in my inspiration of the Iranian woman.

Craig: [00:26:08] As a viewer. We come to these works and we. We are left to try to interpret things or anticipate things as we're watching it unfold. And in the video, the camera keeps encircling her. And so we see backstage and then it pans around and we see the empty seats of the theater. And it keeps on making revolutions. And in my mind, every time it pans back to the audience, I'm anticipating you having placed people finally in those seats. And every time they're not there, she still doesn't have her audience, but it still doesn't matter because she's singing from her heart, right?

Shirin: [00:26:45] Yeah. And that's really, I think, for women who are so against the wall under so much pressure, I think there is a state they get in like the women today in Iran, that you just don't care anymore. You become fearless. You become mad. The rage turns into madness in a good way, where you just sort of transcend into a very mystical...I keep thinking about these last days, the videos that I've seen, the images of these ladies who literally are unveiling in front of the Revolutionary Guards. And I'm thinking, "What is she thinking of? This could be ten years in prison or it could be this many lashes or whatever". And I can only imagine that if I put myself in the body of this woman, she just can't take it anymore. I mean, she has reached a level of that. This border between sanity and insanity is blurred. Like, I don't care. I just, I need to unleash this emotion in me. And I think that you have to have gotten arrived at that state of mind where you just let go, let go of all the inhibitions, of all your fears, of all all the possibilities, because you just don't care anymore. And that...I mean, I made a film called "Women Without Men", and it was exactly about that. The four women that took rescue at this orchard where they just try to create their own society and to be free. But it was idea of mysticism, this idea of, you know, you create your own universe. And I think a lot of these women live in their own imagination.

Shirin: [00:28:34] They're just they just can't live anymore in the conditions they have inside their house, outside of their home. It's just too hard. It's too hard literally not having freedom. And so what I was trying to do with with "Turbulent" and the way that the camera rotates around the female singer as opposed to the male singer, is that, you know, is to I mean, in esthetic level to sort of punctuate the emotional and intensity that this woman is going through the state of madness, that the rage that is not a quiet one. It's an angry one. It's full of rage. And that's opposite of the man because he was singing to sort of entertain and appeal to the audience. She's not entertaining and she's not appealing. She's crying and she's screaming. And that's a very different energy, you see. And so, I saw this incredible image yesterday of a woman kicking a Revolutionary Guard with her feet. I was just like, dumbfounded. Like, "What? How unpredictable is that?" Like, even on a physical, biological level. But I think it really something overcomes this woman, it's like, "I'm just going to go for it and I'm just going to kick the hell out of this man. I've had enough". And there's something really beautiful, powerful about seeing that coming from women. I must say.

Craig: [00:30:15] You've made some really amazing video work that is very artistic, and I was hoping maybe I could talk to you a little bit about ambiguity, like watching something like "Passage" that you did with Philip Glass. You know, I think we have this notion that the artist or the author has all the answers, but that they are just kind of obscuring us from the truth. But that's not necessarily the case. I think many times the artist knows as little about the answers as the viewer. And I'm just wondering, as an artist, how do you commit to a concept that doesn't have an answer or seem to make sense?

Shirin: [00:30:56] It's really a very good point you made. You know, I have to say, there are times where I've made work when I look back, such as "Turbulent" and "Rapture", "Fervor", some of this video and "Women of Allah", where I feel like they're always about a notion of protest, you know, like it's like that kind of...but then the work like "Passage" where it's not really about protest. It is about and this ambiguity and there's this sense of humanity and universality of pain and sorrow and grief and mourning. And, you know, I have to be honest, I made that work when my father died. But also it was a moment where there was an extreme clash between the Palestinians and Israeli forces. And many young Palestinians had died and there was just corpses constantly being carried around. And I was just devastated. Later, I made "Our House is on Fire" in Egypt, which was always also mourning of the older men and women about the youth that were killed during the revolution. So there are times where I made work, which is which is not really about protest, but about the sense of loss and acknowledgment of mourning. "The Book of Kings", of course, it was about the the catastrophic aftermath of the Green Movement. But that coming from protest, the ambiguity comes in that sense of I think the ambiguity is my core belief in the sense that sense of there's always something paradoxical opposite contradictory about things. You know, there's for me, esthetically and conceptually, there's something about life and death, spirituality and beauty and violence and fanaticism, politics and emotions. I mean, even "Women of Allah" is female body, eroticism, sensuality, but violence and fanaticism and death. And so to me, this notion of ambiguity could be really rooted in my interest in mysticism that comes from Iranian culture, that poetic...that more like a metaphorical allegorical language and that even pain and suffering is a part of life.

Shirin: [00:33:36] And and we we see it in in a way that we accept it. But there's also within that pain, there's hope and there's transcendence. And I think Iranian people, they say that they have survived very dark, dark times under dictatorship for years and years because of the strength of their poetic history and their wisdom of the mystics and all of that, because they always see a bright light at the end of the dark tunnel kind of thing. So for me, this idea of the light and darkness, this hope and despair is it's always embedded in my work, whether it's in a movie or a photograph or a video. You know, if there is oppression, there's also rebellion, like in "Turbulent" you just mentioned. If there is grief and sadness, there is also the force of euphoria and hope. And it's the same like today. There's this energy of movement that we see in the last days in Iran. There are young people dying and getting arrested and being tortured and raped. But then there is hope for change and a more better future. I guess that's the way I see everything, this level of ambiguity. And unfortunately or fortunately, that helps me to see things in that way, you know, because it's easier to fall into despair and say, "This is hopeless. This is so just I just give up. You know, there's nothing to do. You know, these people are power just so powerful". But no, I try to see everything in these possibilities.

Craig: [00:35:22] In 2019, you made a body of work called "Land of Dreams", and then that turned into a feature film that was inspired by but not directly related to that body. From hearing you talk about this time, it sounds like you have gotten to a place where you've been in America far longer than you had been in Iran, and you gave yourself permission to have an opinion on America. Can you talk about making work from the point of view of an exiled Iranian instead of work that's focused on Iran itself?

Shirin: [00:36:00] Yes. You know, there are millions of Iranians living outside of Iran, not by choice. And I thought it was really important for me to acknowledge my life in America as an immigrant and and something I had not given myself the right to indulge and, you know, look and give my critique about the American society. I always felt like still like a foreigner, even though I am not an American citizen. But I felt like after so many years of not being able to return to Iran and focusing on making work about Iran, outside of Iran in different countries, or making work about Egypt, Azerbaijan, Morocco, etc., that I had sort of reached an end of that feeling of nostalgia, and I wanted to pay attention to my. Trip to this country, which is equally in a state of flux and transition and and but always from the perspective of an Iranian and always from the perspective of a woman who is also carrying her own baggage from a very politically volatile nation and complicated history on a personal level. So the narrative, both in the artwork and the film of Land of Dreams is really about a woman who's really haunted by her own oppressive authoritarian background and unresolved relationship to her country, yet trying to integrate in a country that for so long has been identified as the enemy of her own country and sort of navigating politically and emotionally in between these two nations, these two opposing cultures. In the video, it's more satirical, it's more absurd. So you actually have an Iranian colony that is tucked inside of the mountain and is analyzing Iranian people's dreams in a very surreal way. Very Kafkaesque. And she's an agent and she secretly goes to this American town and keeps interviewing them as a as an artist from Iran.

Shirin: [00:38:20] But really, it touches on her own dilemma, but also this deep antagonism between the two countries. But in the film, I think that it's much more expansive. It's a two hour movie, and really it becomes more of a critique of American society from the perspective of this woman who is a young Iranian woman immigrant. But we see how as she collects American people's dreams and nightmares, that her own nightmares continue to return to her, which is the assassination or the execution of her own father once by the Iranian government. And so we are really following her own journey of the past and the present. We're really talking about a story that it goes above and beyond her, her personal story, and really delving into a deeper, more problematic nature of American culture in the near future. It's a very ambitious idea. But again, as I mentioned to you earlier, it sort of carries this notion of paradoxical, the individual, the collective, the America versus Iran, the dream versus reality. And many things are at play that are sort of creating different layers of intentions and meaning in a story that may be hard for some people to digest because it really functions in so many different ways. But can I add that it's also cinematically an experiment because this movie is a collection of six short stories of different households as this woman and the two other protagonists visit. And so it's not by any means a three act story. So it's a construction that I think dares to challenge the conventional way of storytelling in cinema. And again, that could be a little bit hard for some people who expect a more linear storytelling.

Craig: [00:40:28] Do you feel like you've reached a point in your life where you feel like you have found your home? Do you feel grounded at this point in your life, or do you still feel like someone that's between worlds, a world that you can't go back to and one that doesn't match where you grew up? Have you found your place?

Shirin: [00:40:50] I tell you what I have in the last year or two, I've come to realize and like very much, is the reality of me being an Iranian-American, an Iranian immigrant. It's become a great relief that that I can I'm right now preparing an exhibition for Gladstone Gallery in New York in January. And once again, it's about an Iranian immigrant in America, in Bushwick, in Brooklyn. But who's, again, haunted by what happened to her in Iran, which she happened to be a political prisoner and she was sexually assaulted. And how she's traumatized and ironic because this is what's happening in Iran today. You have many of these political activists being imprisoned and sexually assaulted. But so I feel that my stories and my concepts will continue because I'm an Iranian and I'm very invested in Iranian culture. But I live in America, you see. And so I. My stories will now change in color and in shape and the kind of stories I will tell. But they continue to be Iranian because I am Iranian, but they will be newly more from an immigrant's perspective.

Craig: [00:42:08] Shirin, I cannot thank you enough for your time this morning. It's been a real honor to get to sit down in, you know, kind of dive deep into how you think in your past and your opinions about where we are and where we're headed. And I really appreciate your ability to sit down and have a conversation today.

Shirin: [00:42:29] Thank you for what you're doing and for your time. I really appreciate it.

Craig: [00:42:37] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to Art Sense. You can find the show on Apple podcast, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features. You can go to canvia.art and click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me. You can email me at craig@canvia.art. Thanks for listening.

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