Wednesday, May 04, 2005


On Sunday we saw Iranian filmmaker, artist, poet and photographer Abbas Kiarostami's Forest Without Leaves installation at the V&A. We drifted through a three dimensional forest composed of huge hollow tubes wrapped with photographic images of the barks of trees -- complete with carved Persian graffiti. The rationale behind the installation is that we are so out of touch with nature in natural surroundings that we can only observe it with care when placed and framed in an artifical environment. The effect was utterly haunting and mysterious.

We also viewed his Trees In Snow exhibition -- a series of photographs of stripped alpine stands of trees and their skeletal shadows silhouetted against winter landscapes that somehow manage to convey not bleakness and loneliness but beauty and serenity akin to Japanese pen and ink drawings.

Simply beautiful.

A season of Kiarostami films begins this month at the NFT and I'm very excited as it will be my first exposure to his work.

I'm off to Seville now, so won't be posting until next week!

Related link:

+ "Who is this 65-year-old Tehrani and why are the film, art, publishing and academic worlds so excited? According to the high priest of art cinema, Jean-Luc Godard: 'Cinema began with D. W.Griffith and ended with Abbas Kiarostami.' One American critic wrote: 'We don't know it yet, but we are living in the age of Kiarostami.'" The Times on Abbas Kiarostami.

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