on Vimeo channel for Mahalla Festival of contemporary art.
Shirin Neshat: Rapture, 1999 from Mahalla Festival on Vimeo.
“Rapture” is a two-channel video projection divided down gender lines. The male protagonists of the narrative are projected on the left wall of the gallery, the women on the right (Neshat exploited this binary technique in a series of films made in the late ’90s, like “Shadow Under the Web” of 1997, “Turbulent” of 1998 or “Soliloquy” of 1999). This binary formulation is stressed by the artist’s stark use of black and white (down to the actors’ clothes — women in black veils and robes, men in white shirts and black trousers). The viewer, meanwhile, is right in the middle, confronted with the constant dilemma of where to focus her attention; she can’t fully grasp the action in one scene without turning her back on the other.