Shirin Neshat: Facing History is a major exhibition of the work of the internationally acclaimed artist, who examines the nuances of power and gender in the Islamic world—particularly in her native Iran. The first exhibition to place Neshat's work in the context of the history of modern Iran, it is organized according to the chronology of historical events, from the 1953 coup that reinstalled the Shah to the 1979 Islamic Revolution to the Green Revolution.
Neshat's mesmerizing films and photographs are accompanied by her studio materials, including production photos, never-before-exhibited studies, and items from Neshat's personal library that reveal her literary sources. In addition, Safavid-period manuscript pages, wire-service photographs, and newsreels provide background for the artworks. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue that includes Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu's interview with the artist and essays by Hirshhorn associate curator Melissa Ho, Iranian scholar Mahnaz Afkhami, and poet and art critic Steven Henry Madoff.