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MFA Publications

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Hardcover, 9 x 9 in. / 168 pgs / 140 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2013 p. 103   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780878468041 TRADE
List Price: $40.00 CDN $50.00

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Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 08/27/13-01/12/14

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She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World

Text by Kristen Gresh. Foreword by Michket Krifa.

Featured photograph, "Stephanie, Beirut, Lebanon" (2011), from Rania Matar's <I>A Girl and Her Room</I> series, is reproduced from <I>She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World</I>.

She Who Tells a Story introduces the pioneering work of 12 leading women photographers from Iran and the Arab world: Jananne Al-Ani, Boushra Almutawakel, Gohar Dashti, Rana El Nemr, Lalla Essaydi, Shadi Ghadirian, Tanya Habjouqa, Rula Halawani, Nermine Hammam, Rania Matar, Shirin Neshat and Newsha Tavakolian. As the Middle East has undergone unparalleled change over the past 20 years, and national and personal identities have been dismantled and rebuilt, these artists have tackled the very notion of representation with passion and power. Their provocative images, which range in style from photojournalism to staged and manipulated visions, explore themes of gender stereotypes, war and peace, and personal life, all the while confronting nostalgic Western notions about women of the Orient and exploring the complex political and social landscapes of their home regions. Enhanced with biographical and interpretive essays, and including more than 100 stunning reproductions, this book challenges us to set aside preconceptions about this part of the world and share in the vision of a group of vibrant artists as they claim the right to tell their own stories in images of great sophistication, expressiveness and beauty.

Featured photograph, "Stephanie, Beirut, Lebanon" (2011), from Rania Matar's A Girl and Her Room series, is reproduced from She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Boston Magazine

Margaret Burdge

“It’s been an emerging trend from the Middle East that the most powerful and the strongest work is being done by women right now,” says Kristen Gresh, curator of the exhibit and author of the accompanying publication, She Who Tells a Story.

The New York Times Book Review

Kate Christensen

Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, these provocative images explore the social and political landscapes of the Middle East, and are accompanied by biographical and interpretive essays.

The New York Times - Lens

John G. Morris

This extraordinary exhibition and its accompanying catalogue may well go down as a landmark in the worlds of contemporary photography and graphic arts. In addition they illuminate the subtle but explosive changes now transforming Middle Eastern societies.

American Photo

Dan Abbe

This show looks to be something of a revelation: “She Who Tells a Story” and its catalog represent an excellent opportunity for American audiences to learn about a tradition of photography that (to my knowledge, at least) has had little exposure up until now. [...] In a foreword to the catalog, curator and critic Michket Krifa discusses how culturally-charged objects, and the veil in particular, have been used to draw overly simplified conclusions about the situation of women in Muslim countries. In discussing the work of Iranian photographer Shirin Neshat, she writes: “very quickly, her photographs prompted Western art critics to search for an aesthetics of the veil, often with a desire to see her works solely as a critique of the Iranian regime and, more broadly, of Islam.” In short, Krifa says, “they distorted her artistic singularity into an anthropological curiosity.” Clearly, one challenge of the exhibit is avoid producing this sort of reading.

Bookforum

Christopher Lyon

Our hunger for exotic places and people might seem sated by the unending stream of imagery that now assaults us, including from the Middle East. But SHE WHO TELLS A STORY: WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM IRAN AND THE ARAB WORLD, accompanying a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, suggests that we haven't seen the half of it.

CHOICE

J. Natal

These women artists should be seen and heard.

She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World

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