Lot 6
  • 6

Shirin Neshat

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Shirin Neshat
  • Passage
  • DVD and digital beta master clone
  • Installation Dimensions Variable
  • Executed in 2001, this work is number 1 from an edition of 6 plus 1 artist's proof and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.


Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in May 2001


New York, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Shirin Neshat, May - June 2001  (another example exhibited)
Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center; Miami Art Museum; Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum, Shirin Neshat, September 2001 - November 2003, pp. 14, 79-87, 106, illustrated in color (another example exhibited)
Turin, Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Shirin Neshat, January - May 2002, pp. 51, 56-57, 68, 156-163, 166-167, illustrated in color (another example exhibited)
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Moving Pictures, June 2002 - January 2003 (another example exhibited)
Bilbao, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Shirin Neshat: Rapture, July 2002 - January 2003 (another example exhibited)
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Passage, August - October 2002 (another example exhibited)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Passage, November 2002 - January 2003 (another example exhibited)
Athens, Deste Foundation, Monument to Now: The Dakis Joannou Collection, June - December 2004, p. 296, illustrated in colour (another example exhibited)
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Through the Eyes of Shirin Neshat, August - November 2004 (another example exhibited)
Paris, Palais de Tokyo, Translation, June - September 2005 (another example exhibited)
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Shirin Neshat, April 2006 (another example exhibited)
Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Shirin Neshat: Secret of the Veil, October 2006 - January 2007 (another example exhibited)
Reykjavik, National Gallery of Iceland, Shirin Neshat, September - November 2008 (another example exhibited)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Calder to Warhol: Introducing the Fisher Collection, June - September 2010, pl. 118, p. 167, illustrated in colour (another example exhibited)
Reno, Nevada Museum of Art, Shirin Neshat: Passage, June 2011 - January 2012 (another example exhibited)
Detroit Institute of Arts, Shirin Neshat, April - July 2013, pp. 20, 100-109, illustrated in color (another example exhibited)


Ameri Wallach, "Shirin Neshat, Islamic Counterpoints," Art in America, October 2001, pp. 140-142, illustrated in colour and illustrated in colour on the front cover
Farzaneh Milani, Shirin Neshat, Milan, 2001, pp. 12-13, 36-53, illustrated in colour and illustrated in colour on the front cover


This work is in excellent condition overall. There are no apparent condition issues with this work.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

"When I am in the process of making a work, I try to focus on the importance of the concept within its own cultural context, as opposed to its connections with other cultures or my position as a cross-cultural artist...I see my work as a visual discourse on the subjects of feminism and contemporary Islam - a discourse that puts certain myths and realities to the test, claiming that they are far more complex than most of us have imagined" (Shirin Neshat in Exh. Cat., Vienna, Kunsthalle Wein (and travelling), Shirin Neshat, 2000, pp. 11-13).

Shirin Neshat’s diverse body of work is remarkable for its complex and atmospheric treatment of feminism and Islamic culture through film, photography, and performance. Born and raised in Qazvin, Iran, Neshat was sent to complete her education in the United States in 1974. In 1979 the Islamic Revolution prevented her from returning home, and during the 1980s she earned her BA, MA, and MFA from the University of California at Berkeley, returning to Iran only in 1990. During the 1990s she produced photographic portraits of Iranian women which incorporate quotes from Persian poetry alongside objects of violence such as handguns, receiving particular acclaim for the Women of Allah series (1993-1997). Amanda Valdez has argued that it was this series that outlined the major ideas and concepts which were to be of key importance within the artist’s later work: “The series asserted themes that would come to dominate Shirin’s work: the social, cultural and religious codes of Islamic societies and their impact on the political and psychological dimensions of the female experience” (Amanda Valdez, "In Conversation with Shirin Neshat," Dossier, Issue 7, 2011, p. 22).

Following the completion of the Women of Allah series, Neshat turned to film in search of, as she put it, “a medium that offered me a new level of lyricism” (Shirin Neshat in conversation with Scott MacDonald, "Between Two Worlds: An Interview with Shirin Neshat," Feminist Studies 30, Fall 2004, No. 3, p. 630). Neshat has since become renowned for her evocative, poetic and cinematographic films depicting Muslim men and women, actively questioning the complexity and duality of Islamic culture - expressing an individual freedom while fighting for a collective cultural idenitity. Passage is considered the most significant film installation of Neshat’s career and has been extensively exhibited. The importance of the work was further recognised when, following its debut screening in 2001 at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum acquired an edition for its permanent collection.

Whereas Neshat’s earlier films use dual-channel formats which fracture their presentation, Passage utilises a single projection to depict three equally powerful narrative strands of a funeral procession: a line of men carrying a shroud-wrapped body along a beach; a circle of chador-clad women digging a hole in the ground with their hands; and a child meticulously erecting a monument of stones while observing the ceremony. Filmed in Essouaria, Morocco, a location where the desert-like landscape recalls Neshat's beloved Qazvin, the sprawling and atmospheric setting provides a contrasting backdrop to the ambiguous movements of the crowds of people. Ultimately the three groups join loosely together in a haunting funerary ritual, a poignant communal act whose mutuality goes eerily unacknowledged. An instrumental soundtrack composed by Philip Glass accompanies the film, the product of a unique collaboration with Neshat. Technically adept and conceptually rich, Passage establishes Neshat as one of the most accomplished female artists still working today, whilst highlighting the artist’s remarkable ability to simultaneously question and reject tropes of orientalist representation.

(Images: Production stills of the present work
© Shirin Neshat
Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels)