Abbas Kiarostami: Five Dedicated to Ozu
From July to September 2015, the Freer|Sackler presents Contemporary Iran through Film, a series of programs highlighting prominent figures in contemporary Iranian art. Presented as a single-screen projection, Five Dedicated to Ozu (2003, 74 minutes) by celebrated director Abbas Kiarostami pays tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, the renowned Japanese filmmaker whose work has deeply influenced Kiarostami's films. Through a characteristic attention to the power of simple mise-en-scene and sound, the inherent drama and subtle humor of nature unfurls before the viewer in five long shots taken near the sea.
Additional programs in Contemporary Iran through Film include screenings of films by legendary poet Forough Farrokhzad (July 18) and Bahman Kiarostami (September 13). This series is presented in conjunction with Shirin Neshat: Facing History at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Perspectives: Lara Baladi
Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi (born 1969) experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East—particularly Egypt, where she is based. This installation centers on Oum el Dounia (The Mother of the World), a large-scale tapestry based on a photographic collage. Employing both archival material and Baladi's own images, the work was transformed into a tapestry in 2007 through the use of a digital loom. Oum el Dounia reflects Baladi's interest in the proliferation of images of Egypt, and in how technology and interactivity affect the creation, dissemination, and preservation of visual narratives.
Related programming for Perspectives: Lara Baladi focuses on Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, an archive of images, videos, and texts documenting the 2011 events in Tahrir Square. Planned events include talks with the artist and curator, and panel discussions held in conjunction with the Middle East Institute.