Land of Dreams, a solo exhibition by Iranian-American artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, is on view at SITE Santa Fe through January 16, 2023. The show features a selection of film, video, and photography centered on a series of portraits, combining the artist’s intimate approach to portraiture with an imaginative yet documentary-like journey through the subconscious mind.

I’m extremely proud of having an exhibition at SITE Santa Fe, an institution that will display the entire body of Land of Dreams, which I shot in New Mexico in 2019. This exhibition will not only give me the opportunity to share the project with the local residents whom I photographed and filmed across the state of New Mexico, but also offers a glimpse into the long standing fascination of artists, such as myself, with both the culture and landscape of the southwest.

Shirin Neshat

Land of Dreams presents 111 photographs of state residents, embellished with Neshat’s signature use of Farsi calligraphy and illustrations referencing ancient symbols of dream interpretation. Accompanying the portraits is a two-channel video installation set against New Mexico’s cinematic landscape. The first video follows a young Iranian photographer who is traveling door-to-door, creating portraits of strangers and collecting their dreams. The second shows a sterile bureaucratic setting where the dreams she collects are logged and analyzed.

Alongside Land of Dreams is Neshat’s Dreamer’s Trilogy (2013–2016), three short films that draw inspiration from her own recurring dreams and universal themes of isolation, fear, and anxiety; The Making of Shirin Neshat’s Land of Dreams, a documentary by Sophie Chahinian; and a screening of the artist’s feature-length film Land of Dreams (2021) starring Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon, Isabella Rosallini, and Anna Gunn at the Violet Crown Cinema in Santa Fe.

In conjunction with the exhibition, SITE Santa Fe and Radius Books have released a major publication on Land of Dreams featuring writings by curator Brandee Caoba and Lucy R. Lippard, as well as a selection of vivid images from the series.

For more information, visit sitesantafe.org.

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