Accession Number


Shirin Neshat

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
digital pigment print on paper

24 in x 15 1/2 in (60.96 cm x 39.37 cm);26 in x 17 1/2 in (66.04 cm x 44.45 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Subject matter
This portrait is from the series Our House is on Fire, commissioned by the Rauschenberg Foundation in 2012. Two images from the series were donated to thirty-three leading universities to support the foundation's belief that art can encourage and change dialogue for challegning international issues. The series documents Egypt after the Arab Spring, specifically focusing on pain and mourning among the elderly, a group that Neshat chose because of their unique and extensive experiences of changing political landscapes. The series, like much of her other photographic work, is overlaid in ink with Iranian poetry from the Iranian revolution. Among the selected poetry is "A Cry" written by Mehdi Akhavan Sales. The text is almost imperceptible, fading into the lines in each subject's face. 

Physical Description
This photograph is a portrait of a middle-aged man. His hairline has receded and his remaining hair and beard have turned gray. He looks into the camera lens; his dark-colored shirt disappears into the dark background. Persian calligraphy is inscribed subtly over his skin.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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artificial lighting
calligraphy (visual works)
men (male humans)
old age
single-sitter portraits

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ FFW, 2nd floor ➜ 218 (Eleanor Noyes Crumpacker)