Video installation

4min. 29sec.

A woman covered from head to toe, the artist herself, performs a three-act drama. In a video over four minutes long, she recites verses from the Koran, waves a gun at the viewer and gyrates like a whirling dervish. In Anchorage, private prayer, death threats and hypnotic dance poetically and provocatively show very different faces of Islam.

Shirin Neshat started out as a photographer. Anchorage, her first video, was originally shown at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York in 1996. She extends and condenses her reflections on radical Islam, the status of Muslim women and, more broadly, freedom and oppression. Noteworthy for its minimalism and dramatic tension, the short film “combines recitation, a very simple song and improvisation,” she says.

Shirin Neshat's video Anchorage was first presented by the Pinault Collection in 2008 during the exhibition “Passage du Temps” (“Passage of Time”) at the Tri Postal in Lille.