A Loss for Words

Proceeds benefit: The Brooklyn Rail
Artist: Shirin Neshat

'A Loss for Words' is the first NFT collection by renowned artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat. Inspired by some of her earliest and most iconic photographs, the works in this series combine video, poetry and computer animation in a meditative gesture of prayer.

The Brooklyn Rail Founded in October 2000 and currently published 10 times annually, The Brooklyn Rail provides an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far beyond. In addition to the journal, other Rail initiatives include Rail Editions, which publishes books of poetry, experimental fiction, prose meditation, artists’ writings, and interviews with artists in addition to art and literary criticism. The Brooklyn Rail is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The Story of A Loss for Words as told by Shirin Neshat

This animation is my first effort in creating a work that bridges my interest in still photography and the moving picture. In 'A Loss for Words' we use a similar approach and aesthetic as my earliest photographs, with calligraphy inscribed in the palms of hands, yet the progressive movement reveals and then exerts the words. Shirin Neshat, Offerings (2019) Photogravure with black foiling.

The notion of one’s desire to ‘speak,’ to ‘express’ even if discreetly, in a culture of dictatorship such as in my country Iran, is created in a simple, poetic yet subversive gesture. The inscribed poems are by several different Iranian poets, including Nima Yushij, Forugh Farrokhzad, Sohrab Sepehri, Ahmad Shamlou and Simin Behbahani. Still from 'Passenger', Shirin Neshat, A Loss for Words (2022)

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Founded in October 2000 and currently published 10 times annually, The Brooklyn Rail provides an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far beyond. In addition to the journal, other Rail initiatives include Rail Editions, which publishes books of poetry, experimental fiction, prose meditation, artists’ writings, and interviews with artists in addition to art and literary criticism. The Brooklyn Rail is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.