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Shirin Neshat provokes at Madrid's Arco art fair '97

Neshat links three incongruous images - the bare soles of the feet, Arabic script and gun violence - to achieve a conceit

The tenderness of feet (the part of the body traditionally beaten in punishment); the texts, again traditional in their formal calligraphy, as in a Koran (but the words are Shirin Neshat’s own); the menace of a gun: this neat allegory by an Iranian woman artist was among the thousands of pieces at the Arco art fair in Madrid last month, where most dealers sold well.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Iranian souls'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 68 March 1997