Iran: New Voices in Film & Video Art

Iran: New Voices in Film and Video Art offers a rare chance to view an eclectic range of film and video works by Iran’s foremost contemporary artists working inside and outside their homeland. From a day of film and video screenings scrutinising the legacy of the revolution, to new films by Iran’s leading international artist Shirin Neshat and acclaimed auteur Abbas Kiarostami, this selection of visually poetic works probe what it means to be Iranian today.

Presented by the Barbican Centre in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation and Magic of Persia, and curated by Vali Mahlouji.

Friday 5 December
7.30pm – Focus: Shirin Neshat (15*) (Programme 73 min) followed by Q&A with artist Shirin Neshat (TBC)
An exclusive presentation of short films, including UK premieres, from Iran’s leading international artist Shirin Neshat exploring the journey of three women seeking freedom in Iranian society (inspired by Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel Women Without Men). Also showing are screenings of Neshat’s The Last Word and Tooba, two video installations examining Iranian identity and the power of art to challenge repression.

Saturday 6 December
1.00pm to 5.45pm – bedün´ə onvän (Untitled Series): Video Installations (12A*)
An unmissable opportunity to see the latest in video installations from eight of the best contemporary Iranian artists and to hear them discuss their work. The work provides a rich picture of personal and collective perspectives on aesthetics, language, emotion and culture. Examining the contours of the global and the local, through addressing the question of identity, the series asks what it means to be Iranian today. Each Untitled Series programme lasts 60 min.

1.00pm – bedün´ə onvän 1 (untitled series 1)
Showcasing the diversity of contemporary Iranian approaches, bedün´ə onvän´ 1 screens the contrasting work of prize-winning artist Avish Khebrehzadeh’s, winner of the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion (2003) for young Italian artist, and Tehran based Shahab Fotouhi. Khebrehzadeh’s highly distinctive body of work features hand-drawn animations creating a fairytale effect that is haunting in its naiveté. By contrast, Shahab Fotouhi presents a series of documentary-like, razor-sharp and witty vignettes which are direct social critiques exploring the function and landscape of power.

2.15pm – bedün´ə onvän 2 (untitled series 2)
Screening and discussion by Gothenburg-based Mandana Moghaddam and Tehran-based Barbad Golshiri exploring language and communication with reference to local and global issues. Moghaddam’s new work is a recording of a live installation simultaneously taking place in her native Tehran and adopted Gothenburg, whilst Golshiri’s polished conceptual works blur the boundary between literature and visual art.

3.30pm – bedün´ə onvän3 (untitled series 3)
Two artists, Berlin-based Shahram Entekhabi and Tehran-based Ghazel feature as protagonists in their own short video pieces, which reflect on and expose social and gender issues in Iran. Both personal and political, the works centre around clichês and stereotypes of the male and female within their native culture and as represented in the complex image of Iran abroad.

4.45pm – bedün´ə onvän 4 (untitled series 4)
Investigating the relationship between politics, society and religion in a transcultural context, here we screen photographers Mahmoud Bakhshi and Mitra Tabrizian’s first experiments with video and film. Bakhshi’s Jesus is an assemblage of 8000 pictures, reflecting on religious iconography as advertisement in the modern landscape. Tabrizian’s film Predator focuses on the unusual encounter between the two men; an influential writer who has sought political asylum in the UK and a hit man sent to assassinate him.

Sunday 7 December
6.30pm – Kiarostami Double Bill (U*)
Geoff Andrew, critic and Kiarostami expert, introduces two of the celebrated director’s most poetic works.

Roads of Kiarostami (Iran/South Korea 2005 Dir. Abbas Kiarostami 32 min)
Elegantly shot in black and white Roads is a meditation on the nature of journeys and the landscapes that contextualise them. Kiarostami combines his own photographs of roads winding through the Iranian countryside and images of his car meandering through the mountains, with his musings in voice-over on Persian literature and the path of his art.
FIVE (Iran 2003 Dir. Abbas Kiarostami 74 min)
In five separate sequences Kiarostami uses (seemingly) single, static shots to observe the passing of time and the nature of landscape on the shores of the Caspian Sea. A carefully orchestrated soundtrack of natural noise accompanies the contemplative visuals and organically generated narrative. ‘An entire world is revealed to us’, Kiarostami says. ‘It’s a work that approaches poetry, painting. It let me escape from the obligation of narration and of the slavery of mise en scène.’ Cinema Hotline: 0845 120 7527

Ticket prices:
Book online and save up to £2 off every ticket!
Standard: £7.50 online (£9.50 full price)
Barbican Members: £6.50 online (£7.50 full price)
Concessions: £7.50
Under 15: £4.50
Monday Madness: all tickets £5.50
bedün´ə onvän (untitled series): £6 per screening, buy tickets to more than one Untitled Series screening and reduce each ticket to £5.

Region: All
Venue: Barbican Film
Venue Address: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London
Press Tickets: Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: Laura Bushell