The character of Ornellaia 2016, the 11th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, was “La Tensione”
Shirin Neshat was the artist chosen to interpret “La Tensione”.
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian artist and director who lives in New York. Her earliest photography includes the Women of Allah (1993-97) series, which explores the issue of gender in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and activism. The artist’s first works were a set of photographs that explored the political and social conditions of Iranian and Muslim life, focusing on women and matters of feminism. Her subsequent films shifted away from openly political and critical content towards figurativism and a more poetic narrative, displaying abstract oppositions centred on human society, the group and the individual. Neshat continues to explore photography, videos and films. Some of her more recent work includes the photography series The Book of Kings (2012), The Home of My Eyes (2015) and the Dreamers trilogy consisting of three video installations: Illusions and Mirrors (2013), Roja (2016), and Sarah (2016).
THEME AND SPECIAL LABELS
The central theme of Shirin Neshat’s artwork for Ornellaia “La Tensione” is wine as a means of sociality, a life force that, in the words of the Persian poet Omar Khayyam, should be “enjoyed during our short spell on this earth”. The labels display details of women’s faces, hands and bodies covered entirely by writings in Farsi. These contrasts between the softness of the skin and the graphical nature of the text seduce the gaze and spark the imagination.
Some of the large-format bottles of Vendemmia d’Artista “La Tensione” were sold at the Sotheby’s auction held on 13 September 2019. The profits were donated to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the development of the “Mind’s Eye” program.