MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
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Shirin Neshat
Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone

Shirin Neshat.
'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'.
2012.
Installation.
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels Shirin Neshat.
'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'.
2012.
Installation. Detail.
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels Shirin Neshat.
'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'.
2012.
Installation. Detail.
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels Shirin Neshat.
'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'.
2012.
Installation. Detail.
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels Shirin Neshat.
'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'.
2012.
Installation. Detail.
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat. 'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'. 2012. Installation. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat. 'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'. 2012. Installation. Detail. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat. 'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'. 2012. Installation. Detail. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat. 'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'. 2012. Installation. Detail. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat. 'Don't Ask Where the Love Is Gone'. 2012. Installation. Detail. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Moscow, 13.03.2014—20.04.2014

exhibition is over

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Photography by Luciano Romano
Curated by Achille Bonito Oliva
Produced by Franco Laera

Commissioned by Comune di Napoli / Stazione Toledo / Metropolitana di Napoli spa

Project by Change Performing Arts, Milan

Photography by Luciano Romano
Curated by Achille Bonito Oliva
Produced by Franco Laera

Commissioned by Comune di Napoli / Stazione Toledo / Metropolitana di Napoli spa

Project by Change Performing Arts, Milan

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In 2012 Shirin Neshat was commissioned to create a public artwork for the Toledo Underground Station in Naples, Italy. This invitation is part of an ambitious art/design project involving one ‘starchitect’ and several international artists for every station, who are asked to engage with the Naples Underground spaces to create captivating experiences for passengers, under the curatorship of art critic Achille Bonito Oliva.

Designed by the Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca, Toledo Station hosts works by Shirin Neshat, Robert Wilson, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Francesco Clemente and William Kentridge, amongst others.

After spending a few days in Naples, Shirin Neshat was attracted by the vitality and theatricality of Neapolitan life and, with the assistance of the Italian photographer Luciano Romano, decided to shoot portraits of a series of local experimental theatre performers.

The nine black and white portraits are now installed on the wall of one of the station’s platforms. Like prisoners trying to escape a dark prison, these figures emerge as if from the dark ashes of a buried Pompeii. Appearing from the dark and almost advancing into the light, the movements implicit in the still image ambiguously speak of feelings of defiance, of the pain of the human condition, and of hopeful struggles for a new beginning. Is this a metaphor for the eternal resilience of the city of Naples?

Neshat has titled this installation ‘Don’t Ask Where the Love Is Gone’, from a well-known song by the celebrated Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum, whose unique voice and emotionally charged tunes were able to move thousands. «I am looking for universality, something that can be valid for everyone», said the Iranian-born American artist. «Beauty must always come accompanied by feeling and social and political engagement. Pursuing beauty alone remains a superficial aesthetic effort, and political struggle just a loud cry. Only when we combine them can they become art».

In 2013, Toledo was named the «most impressive underground station in the world» by British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Franco Laera

Change Performing Arts, Milan

With the support of

U.S. Embassy in Moscow


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