Shahla Bahrami

Shahla Bahrami's work finds its source in the chador. A semicircular garment, the chador is worn by Muslim women to hide their hair and body. Today, this garment is both a response to religious obligations and a symbol of resistance to the encroachment of Western culture. What may surprise is that despite its powerful religious and cultural value, this item of clothing appears only very rarely in Islamic arts. After fourteen centuries under the influence of Islam, the image of Muslim women in painting remains the same. Intact. This pictorial continuity, which does not carry the movement of society during this period, is considerable. The Egyptians do the same: they continue to paint on the papyrus the servants of the pharaohs and in Persian miniature, the women dressed in bright colours. These approaches and artistic productions refuse to capture the essence and the real image of Muslim women in today's society.


May 8 — June 19, 2004

Where is the center?

Laurent Vaillancourt, Paul Walty, Shahla Bahrami, Geneviève Ruest