ErICE – KIaroStaMI: Correspondences Barcelona CCCB - Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona LUIS FRANCISCO PÉREZ Stimulated by this or that motive, obsessed with this or that symbol, hint, clue, or sign, the magnificent programme of the CCCB cannot be accused of not being committed to a wholehearted dedication to the “auscultation of the present”, which is the reason for and the key to most of the shows staged there, even those which in formal terms might appear to be distant from that intention as a function of the reverberations of yesterday within today. Something (or a lot) of this
ABBAS KIAROSTAMI Sleepers, 2001. Installation, 94” Galerie de France.
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is to be found in the atypical (because of its rarity in the programmes of contemporary culture centres, ordinary museums and the like) exhibition Erice - Kiarostami. Correspondencias. It is an unusual show that would not be out of place at the neighbouring MACBA, given the excellence and the expressive heights achieved by the artists selected. Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami, born within days of each other, both suffer from “the popularity of unfamiliarity”. People have heard their names, but their works. leaving aside the peculiarities of form and method of each, are plainly ignored by commercial film distribution circuits. The cinematography practised by Erice and Kiarostami is naturally another kind of filmmaking, hence the need for this exhibition. These are films for watching and thinking, for theorising about the experience. It is cinema –the term seems inadequate here–for “forgetting cinema”, to employ a productive paradox. Alain Bergala and Jordi Balló, who bring us this highly unusual experience of the senses, opted to recreate the series of encounters (of long-distance friendship and collaboration) of the two artists, thus to establish the correspondences mutually dependent on visual, formal, and conceptual universes, carried out by the makers of El sol del membrillo [“The Sun of Quince”] and The Taste of Cherries. This are crossed correspondences, like professional missives, where the contemplation of the final results of these exercises is as important and necessary as the slow process of maturation and making of the respective contributions of gifts from one to the other. In other words, we are witnesses of the visual (and not only visual) culmination of that “eternal instant” so luminously pursued by the two filmmakers in their enriching adventures concerning “the degree of truth” (ethical and aesthetic) in all visual experience, and which both Erice and Kiarostami so industriously achieve. The show is very well designed, as are most at the CCCB, and for once the institution’s notorious “nocturnity” helps to set off the exhibition rather than overwhelm it, as is sometimes the case. The entire exhibition is a paragon of beauty and visual intelligence, but if we had to single out (perish the thought!) one work from such riches, it would have to be the marvellous thirty minutes of La Morte Rouge, Erice’s latest visual adventure, and made ex profeso for this show. In the half-hour of this film there is more cinema –more philosophy and beauty and humanism and pain and gratitude and thought and poetry– than Hollywood turns out in a year. Indeed, it made us feel embarrassed for the hundreds of pointless videos made by our youngest and most promising artists. These thirty minutes alone make the show a must; but the entire selection amounts to a sensual and intellectual feast. The show will next be put on at La Casa Encendida in Madrid, and then go on to the Pompidou in Paris.
Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006