Shirin Neshat – A special exhibition organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts
Classroom Connections for Grades 9 through 12
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian American artist whose photography and video installations create rich narratives that provoke questions about gender, power, politics, and identity. Using visual metaphor and compelling sound as key elements in her work, Neshat embraces both the depth of Islamic tradition and the Western concepts of liberty and individuality. Through Neshat’s representation of her personal experiences and perspectives on Iranian and Islamic culture, students will have the opportunity to discover themes that are at once personal and universal.
With a visit to this exhibition and the guidance of their teachers, students will have the opportunity to:
• Make connections between their own community and the global community through the universal themes of gender, power, politics, and identity presented by the artist.
• Compare and contrast different cultural and religious beliefs and better understand issues of diversity.
• Explore the ideas of an individual artist and understand the role of personal experience in the creation of artwork.
• Gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Iran.
• Analyze image as text in order to integrate alternate formats of expression into English Language Arts curriculum.
With a self-guided visit, teachers can use Shirin Neshat to address the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and the Michigan Department of Education Grade Level Content Expectations for Social Studies and Visual Arts for Grades 9 through 12. Due to complex and emotional themes, this exhibition is specifically recommended for high school-aged students.
This special exhibition is free with general museum admission. Residents of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties receive unlimited, free general museum admission. Free transportation is available for school groups visiting from Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County. To schedule your visit, please complete a self-guided visit application.
This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Generous support has been provided by the MetLife Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Marjorie & Maxwell Jospey Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the City of Detroit.
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 - Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3 - Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6 - Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6 - Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7 - Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7 - Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)
Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for World History and Geography
6.1.3 Increasing Global Interconnections – Describe increasing global interconnections between societies, through the emergence and spread of ideas, innovations and commodities.
7.1.1 Increasing Government and Political Power – Explain the expanding role of state power in managing economies, transportation systems, and technologies, and other social environments, including its impact of the daily lives of their citizens.
7.3.5 Middle East – Analyze the political, economic, and social transformations that occurred in this era,
• the decline of the Ottoman Empire
• changes in the Arab world including the growth of Arab nationalism, rise of Arab nation-states, and the increasing complexity (e.g., political, geographic, economic, and religious) of Arab peoples
• the role of the Mandate system
• the discovery of petroleum resources
8.2.3 Middle East – Analyze the interregional causes and consequences of conflicts in the Middle East, including the development of the state of Israel, Arab-Israeli disputes, Palestine, the Suez crisis, and the nature of the continuing conflict.
Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for Civics
1.1.2 Explain and provide examples of the concepts of “power,” “legitimacy,” “authority,” and “sovereignty.”
2.2.4 Analyze and explain ideas about fundamental values like liberty, justice, and equality found in a range of documents.
4.2.6 Evaluate the impact of American political ideas and values on other parts of the world.
5.3.4 Describe the relationship between personal, political, and economic rights and how they can sometimes conflict.
6.2.1 Describe the relationship between politics and the attainment of individual and public goals.
6.2.6 Analyze different ways people have used civil disobedience, the different forms civil disobedience might take, and their impact.
Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for Arts Education
ART.VA.II.HS.8 Explore social and global issues through the application of the creative process.
ART.VA.III.HS.2 Describe how organizational principles are used to elicit emotional responses.
ART.VA.V.HS.8 Identify the role visual arts play in enhancing civic responsibility and community.
ART.VA.III.HS.5 Recognize and understand the relationships between personal experiences and the development of artwork.