Tooba | Shirin Neshat




Video installation with sound

12min 43seg


Shirin Neshat

Qazvin, Iran, 1957


© Shirin Neshat
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels 

Tooba (2002) shows a woman who stands leaning on a tree trunk in a hieratic, meditative pose. The title of the work refers to the name of a sacred tree described in the Koran that represents the promise of paradise. In the Sufi tradition, the Ṭūbā tree symbolizes hope and offers refuge or food to those in need. The video depicts a group of pilgrims moving across a desert landscape who leap over a wall around the tree in order to approach it.

The narrative ambiguity of the film suggests multiple interpretations, metaphorically approaching the relationship between the sacred aspects of both nature and the human condition, such as displacement and migration, as well as the framing and questioning of womanhood in ancestral traditions. The film was made with a Mexican cast in Oaxaca, Mexico, where Neshat was able to find a location similar to Iran's desert landscape.

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pleca institucional