08.02.14 – 23.03.14
The exhibition Appear presents Hamza Halloubi’s new film Golshifteh Farahani will not appear in this film (2014). The film questions ‘the appearance of the actor’. It is based on the notion that this appearance in itself already contains meaning and looks at how this appearance can generate political, social, and cultural effects. The film’s protagonist, the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, embodies these issues in an exemplary manner. As a celebrity in France and Iran, Farahani takes up the part of diva, while she is simultaneously a political refugee.
From an attempt to capture Farahani’s appearance, an in-depth investigation ensues into that appearance – staged or not – and the various idealizations and clichés that are projected upon her from the realms of cinema and media in both the West and the East. In a preliminary phase of this work in progress, Halloubi conducted an interview with Nahal Tajadod, author of a novel inspired on Farahani’s life and career. The resulting film portrait, Golshifteh Farahani will not appear in this film, questions the presence of the actor in a film and the film industry codes and reflects on topics such as fiction and truth, cinema and life, exile, politics, and Iran.
In the other two video works in the show, these topics are explored in a similarly philosophical and subtle manner: Letter to Aura (2012) starts from the artist’s subjective narration to reflect on his specific geopolitical location. Apparitions à Soco Chico (2013) questions the contemporary perception of filmed images in relation to the history of cinema.
Manoeuvring between documentary and fiction, Appear subverts the language of cinema to make the filmmaker’s creative process itself the subject of the exhibition. Guided by the artist-author’s voice, all of these works maintain a philosophical aspect that refers both to theoretical knowledge and to personal memories.