Serie «Fervor» (Couple at Intersection)
Technique: Silver gelatine print
Dimensions: 119,5 x 152,5 cm. each, triptych
Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Private Collection long-term loan
When Shirin Neshat returned to her native country – Iran - in 1990, after having moved to the United States to study, she was shocked by the changes that had taken place there on both a public and a private level as a result of the Islamic Revolution, and she decided not to bring up a political but a philosophical debate, which would have critical undercurrents, using tools such as photography and subsequently video installation and film.
Her incursion into film began in 1997, the year in which she made her first movie; thanks to the resources the cinematographic medium provides, Neshat strengthens the narrative factor even further and makes an indepth study of the divergences between genders, and the differences between cultures, as is reflected by her video installations Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999) and Fervor (2000). Unlike Rapture and Turbulent, in Fervor Neshat juxtaposes two images instead of having them face one another; two black-and-white images that run simultaneously and reinforce the existence of the real separation of genders in Islamic cultures even though people of both sexes are taking part in the same public event. The piece shows us a man and a woman walking down different road, but they end up crossing paths at one point before meeting up again at the mosque for prayers.
Although no physical, but only visual contact is initiated, they do make a spiritual connection which is reflected inside the mosque where the separation between man and woman is maintained. Both characters listen to a man making a moral speech – he tells a story from the Koran about sin born of desire standing in front of a painting which illustrates the story in question. The triptych made up of 3 photographs are fragments from the video sequence.