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A lecture by Alexandra Persheeva: Abbas Kiarostami’s Ontological Realism

Abbas Kiarostami Retrospective. The Magic of the Digital
25 August 2021


Film and video art researcher Alexandra Persheeva will speak about the border between documentary and fiction in Abbas Kiarostami’s late works and the films of other authors.

Abbas Kiarostami is a director whose work helps to grasp what theorist André Bazin meant by the term “ontological realism” in relation to film. Cinema always deals with reality, it is always “for real.” In Kiarostami’s pictures, however, documentary footage turns into lyrical tropes, while staged scenes produce such a powerful impression from faces, voices, light, color, texture, and movement that it creates a feeling that it is not merely “real”, but “literally happened to me.”

Alexandra Persheeva will address the soft border between documentary and fiction on the material of films by Kiarostami as well as those by the directors of his generation and video artists exploring the matter of moving imagery in their own idiosyncratic manner.

The lecture is part of the public program accompanying Garage Screen’s Abbas Kiarostami retrospective Film and Nothing More.


Alexandra Persheeva holds a Candidate of Sciences degree in Art History and is Associate Professor at HSE Art and Design School. She is the author of the book Videoart. Montazh Zritelya (Video Art. The Viewer’s Montage) and the Instagram blog about screen culture, @video_art_books.


 Free admission with advance registration.


After the poetry evening, visitors are invited to join the premier screening of Shirin as part of Garage Screen’s Abbas Kiarostami retrospective. To visit the cinema, you must purchase a ticket.


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