By Tina Hassannia for The Globe and Mail – November. 19, 2015: Considered one of the great masters of world cinema, Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is lesser known for his photography and poetry. Hopefully, this lack of awareness will soon change with his new Doors Without Keys photo exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. The installation features Kiarostami’s detailed photographs of doors taken in France, Italy, Iran and Morocco, presented in a labyrinthine space. Paint-peeled, weather-torn and bearing witness to a bygone era, the doors evoke a sense of curiosity and wonder. The exhibition is accompanied by wall inscriptions of Kiarostami’s poetry and soundscapes taken from his short films.
As an autodidact multidisciplinary artist, Kiarostami found respite in photographing nature during and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when filmmaking became a volatile business in Iran. The Globe and Mail sat down with Kiarostami to discuss the connection between his photography and cinema, and how doors have changed around the world.
The closed doors pique the viewer’s curiosity to know what’s behind them. Your films also pose questions to the viewer that they don’t necessarily answer. Do you consciously seek to provoke viewers?
For people of my generation, the idea of these doors is an experience that we all share. Maybe for people of your generation there is a curiosity of what is going on behind the door. And for the younger generation, kids who are being born now, it’s a mystery how we ever lived with doors like these.
Discover, Explore and Learn more by reading the complete interview Behind closed doors with director Abbas Kiarostami | Globe and Mail
Abbas Kiarostami: Doors Without Keys runs at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum through March 27 (agakhanmuseum.org). Kiarostami will also appear for a discussion of his cinematic career at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Nov. 23 (tiff.net).
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