Shirin Neshat explores perceptions of love, sexuality and ageing by accentuating the lyrical and musical competition between couples during a traditional courtship Laotian ritual. With the participation and help of a group of Laotian male and female singers as well as anthropologist Catherine Choron-Baix, Neshat filmed and produced the series Games of Desire. This series features a set of 14 colour photographs and 6 film sequences of the Laotian people posing in front of a background covered in lyrics of these courting songs written a Farsi – a nod to her previous series, Women of Allah.


Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran, and moved to the United States in 1974. She currently lives and works in New York. She has held several solo exhibitions, including the National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Athens; ARoS Kunstmuseum, Arhus, Denmark; Stedelijik Museum, Amsterdam; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Leon, Spain; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada; Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli-Turin; Dallas Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Serpentine Gallery, London. She has taken part in Documenta XI, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and the 2000 Whitney Biennale. She has been awarded the First International Award at the 48th Venice Biennale, the Hiroshima Freedom Prize, and the Lillian Gish Prize.