Two years after the unveiling of her movie Looking for Oum Kulthum during the 2017 Venice Mostra, Shirin Neshat displays at the Nuit des images 2019 the world premiere of the artworks from the eponymous series, a group of eight photographs and two videos.
These artworks were created apart from the film, which relates the story of Mitra, an Iranian film director living in exile, who embarks on her dream project of making a film about the legendary Egyptian singer and diva Oum Kulthum. Inspired by classic 1950's Egyptian movie posters, the eight photographs feature the actresses of the film in portraits of Oum Kulthum at different stages of her life and career... Frontal and striking images that attempt to capture the mythical nature of the famous Egyptian diva.
Each of these portraits, all large in size, bares the title of one of Oum Kulthum's songs, written with ink on the print in Arabic calligraphy. Differently from the movie, the two videos, Remembrance and In Trance, offer us two emotional and sensible visions of Oum Kulthum and of her mystical power on people.