„I prefer a film which lets its audience take a nap in the theater, but won’t let them sleep at night after going out from the theater!“
That is Kiarostami’s definition of a good film, a simple and romantic idea, which somehow shows his relation to cinema as a medium — a medium which he always tried to define and redefine throughout his life as a filmmaker; a medium that according to him was not chosen purposefully by him. He was supposed to be a painter, he was a graphic designer, did illustrations for children’s books, was a photographer, wrote poems and coincidentally came to be a filmmaker. But maybe the fact that cinema was never the only medium he used made him think, rethink and analyze its strengths and specificities and push its borders so far that everybody talked about a redefinition of cinema by Kiarostami, or as Godard said, the end of cinema.
Close-Up, which is described by many – including Kiarostami himself – as the climax of his filmic oeuvre, is a unique film in film history. It is a film based on a story which might be more adequate for the local newspapers, but which is narrated in a complicated form, somewhere between documentary and drama, and which philosophizes about the essence of cinema/art and the position of the filmmaker/artist.
With this film as a basis, we will have a quick look into Abbas Kiarostami’s world, including films, photos, poems and videos.
Faraz Fesharaki (1986) studied cinema and then dramaturgy on the Art University of Tehran. There in Iran he started making documentaries and short films which were shown in international festivals. He attended Abbas Kiarostami’s Workshop, after that he entered German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) to study camera. He is now based in Berlin as a cameraman.
Dejan Kaludjerovic, Violet Strong Boy, from the series The Future Belong To Us I, 2002. Screen print, 65 x 50 cm. Courtesy the artist.
HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE.
Europe, Migration, and The Emperor’s New Clothes
How do intimacy, masculinity and inter-masculine privacy enter the public preserve of ‘European refugee crisis’ nowadays? This talk is a short tale about a ‘foreign affair’ between Europe and its significant other: an invite to think and rethink to which extent both sides involved in the so-called integration process comply with our capacity to imagine a ‘life more glamorous’ for everyone and, also, anyone being part of it. And it’s no secret: to migrate from an expectable, either politically correct or incorrect position with regard to this and related issues, presents but another opportunity to exercise the power of words and images (or its lack thereof) around mankind at large – their lives and deaths, their vices and virtues, and the crisis of the self in front of the other. Are you ready?
Marko Stamenkovic (1977) is art historian, critic and curator from the south of Serbia. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Ghent (2014). Over the month of April 2016, he was Artist-in-Residence of MuseumsQuartier Wien/Q21 invited by BMEIA (The Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs).