Shirin Neshat - 2017 | College of Arts

Shirin Neshat - 2017

University of Guelph,College of Arts
and the School of Fine Art and Music present the

11th annual Dasha Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art

Artist and Filmmaker

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6:00pm

War Memorial Hall, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario

Admission Free - Everyone Welcome!  
Free parking in P23/24 and P19 after 5:00 pm

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker.  Her lecture illustrates the development of her work from still photography to video installations to cinema and most recently to opera.  The primary focus will be on recent projects including two new video installations, "Roja" and "Sara," that will premiere in New York in spring 2017. She will also discuss her next feature length film titled "Looking for Oum Kulthoum" shot in Morocco in fall 2016, as well as her upcoming opera, "Aida," for the Salzburg Festival 2017.

Neshat’s early photographic works include the “Women of Allah” series (1993–1997), which explored the question of gender in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and militancy. Her subsequent video works departed from overtly political content or critique in favour of more poetic imagery and narratives.

In 2009, Neshat directed her first feature-length film, “Women Without Men,” which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director in the 66th Venice International Film Festival. Her recent photographic series include “The Book of Kings” (2012), “Our House Is on Fire” (2013) and “The Home of My Eyes” (2015). Neshat has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums internationally, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Serpentine Gallery, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; and the Detroit Institute of Arts. A major exhibition of her work recently opened at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Shirin was included in the 48th Venice Biennale of Art (1999), Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002) and Prospect.1 New Orleans (2009).

She was awarded the Grand Prix of the Gwangju Biennial (2000), the Golden Lion Award, the First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005), and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2006). Neshat is currently working on her second feature-length film based on the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Neshat is represented by Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

The lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer period moderated by Robert Enright, University of Guelph Professor in Art Criticism.

The annual Dasha Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art was established in 2007 and is made possible through the support of Dasha Shenkman OBE, a Canadian art collector and philanthropist who lives in the United Kingdom.

The University of Guelph offers a two year Master of Fine Arts Degree that combines intensive studio concentration with seminars in theory and pedagogy. Exceptionally committed graduate faculty and limited student enrolment result in a community that is intensely involved in contemporary art and its discourse. A consistently excellent program of visiting artists, critics and curators extends this community.

Please also plan to join us for the MFA Open Studios before and after the lecture:

2:00-5:30 p.m. and 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Blackwood Hall, Firehall, Alexander Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario

The MFA students in the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph are pleased to welcome the public to their annual Open Studios, offering a rare inside look at the development of new work within the environment of an art program and a chance to chat with artists about their work in progress.Open Studios 2017 features work by graduate candidates: Hiba Abdallah, Amanda Boulos, Andrew Buszchak, Peter Denton, Shannon Garden-Smith, Daniel Griffin Hunt, Jessica Jang, Brennan Kelly, HaeAhn Kwon, Megan Moore, Kevin Murphy, Jean-Marc Perin, Walter Scott and Larissa Tiggelers.

View the 2017 MFA Open Studios brochure.

We will also showcase work by our fourth-year Specialized Studio undergraduates: Larissa Abrams-Ogg, Jaimie Aitken, Andrea Aleman-Pastor, Chelsea Birnie, Rebecca Casalino, Rebecca Daggett, Christine De Vuono, Maia Desjardins, Grace Esford, Stephanie Ferris, Hilary Hung, Samuel Johns, Samantha Jones, Rachel Meneguzzi, Caroline Popiel, Claudia Rick and Megan Stevenato.

  • A free bus will leave Mercer Union (1286 Bloor Street West) in Toronto at 12:30 p.m. and leave the University of Guelph to return to Toronto at 8:30 p.m. To reserve a seat on this bus –
  • A free shuttle service between Open Studios buildings is available between 2:00 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.and 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Press contact: Sandra Sabatini Ph.D.,, 519-824-4120 x53869; Hiba Abdallah, graduate student coordinator,; John Kissick, faculty coordinator,, 519-824-4120 x53191.

Volunteers will be available to provide directions and assistance. For more information on both events, visit: