In 2001, filmmaker Atom Egoyan was invited to respond to the work of artist Shirin Neshat as part of an introduction to a catalogue commissioned by the Musée D’Art Contemporain in Montreal. This catalogue commemorated Neshat's first major solo exhibition at the MACM, and Egoyan was asked to write about his experience of her work.
When I was asked to write this text, I was feeling despondent. I felt that my purpose for making films had become confused by a culture where image-making had lost its sense of rarity. I was desperate to find something which would give me a sense that what I was about to do — contribute yet more images to an image-saturated culture — might have purpose and meaning. Then I experienced Shirin Neshat’s Turbulent.
Egoyan was clearly affected by Neshat's work, and this small connection between the two artists is only one of the many lines which Meet in the Middle hopes to draw out and illuminate. The rest of Egoyan's essay is available at Filmmaker magazine online, and in the meantime, you too can watch the work which so influenced Egoyan.
You can also see an installation of Shirin Neshat's Soliloquy at the MacKenzie Art Gallery from December 14, 2013 to April 27, 2014.