Oct. 15 - Nov. 2
This exhibition features 29 artists including videographers, filmmakers, and new media artists, as well as painters, sculptors, performance and installation artists. Each examines and redefines the veil in its numerous manifestations and interpretations, and put the veil and veiling into context. This exhibition intends to engage received wisdom, particularly current cliches and stereotypes about Islamic practices, and to reflect on the great ubiquity, importance and profundity of the veil throughout human history and imagination.
- "Women Without Men" Film: Oct. 23, 7 p.m. (Bartlett 109) Directed by Shirin Neshat (2009; 100 minutes)
In her feature-film debut, renowned visual artist Shirin Neshat offers an exquisitely crafted view of Iran in 1953, when a British and American backed coup removed the democratically elected government. Adapted from the novel by Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur, the film weaves together the stories of four individual women during those traumatic days, whose experiences are shaped by their faith and the social structures in place. With a camera that floats effortlessly through the lives of the women and the beautiful countryside of Iran, Neshat explores the social, political, and psychological dimensions of her characters as they meet in a metaphorical garden, where they can exist and reflect while the complex intellectual and religious fources shaping their world linger in the air around them.
- Join a roundtable discussion led by faculty members from History, Gender and Women's Studies, and Art to examine the exhibition and the issues it raises about Islamic culture, gender, and visual arts.
- "Covered: The Hejab in Cairo, Egypt" Film: Oct. 30, 7 p.m. (Bartlett 109) Directed by Tania Kamal-Eldin (1995, 25 minutes)
This absorbing documentary offers a rare opportunity to examine the restoration of veiling and the reasons for its pervasiveness through the eyes of Egyptian women. In unique interviews with women of different ages and backgrounds, "Covered" reveals that Islamic tradition, religious fundamentalism, and growing nationalism are not solely responsible for decisions to wear the hejab. Diverse social, economic and political factors, as well as personal preferences, often play prominent roles. As timely as it is compelling, the film shows how complex causes account for a phenomenon that is porrly understood outside the Muslim world.
- "Hollywood Harem" Film: Oct. 30, in Bartlett Center 109, immediately following "Covered." Directed by Tania Kamal-Eldin (1999, 24 minutes)
Jusxtaposing film clips from the 20s through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Kamal-Eldin explores the organization of gender, race, and sexuality in Hollywood's portrayal of the exotic east an indiscrimate fusion of things Arab, Persian, Chinese and Indian. She argues, convincingly, that in abridging cultural pluarality and difference, these technicolor fantasies have worked both to shape and reinforce often derogative assumptions about peoples of the east while at the same time re-inscribing the moral, spiritual, and cultural supremacy of the Anglo-European west.
This exhibition is a visual companion to Heath's edited volume "The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics" (University of California Press).
The Veil is funded in part by Boulder Arts Commission, the Puffin Foundation, Ltd., Firyal Alsalabi and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.