Abbas Kiarostami, present in the exhibition with the video projection of his Roads – 2006, in his great history of Iranian filmmaker, “writer”, poet, painter, sculptor, who was born in Tehran June 22, 1940 and died in Paris on July 4, 2016. The roads (Le Strade) of Abbas Kiarostami are gray ribbons, lit by the sun and the moon, which run in the human desert, listening to the silence. These are long plans, to all, to nothing, to the man, where the horizon rises between clouds, harbingers of violent storms, lost in the blinding whiteness of the snow, winds between the sensual sides of rocky hills, lowers on clay by the wind to inhale the scents. Kiarostami is playing his game between true and false, between reality and illusion, to let emerge from the depth of truth clues. Writing in particular about the film … and life goes on (1992), French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy says that the boundary between fiction and non-fiction is very thin, that Kiarostami’s films are neither quite fiction nor quite documentary: it comes to life and nothing more, no representation nor reportage, but evidence. The film and video become rather a document of language fiction, a document on the art to build and deconstruct images with so much poetry.
“beyond the word …”
Saeed Kouros (born in Iran in 1942) exponent of an abstract painting of a calligraphic memory and gestural character, is formed in a family environment dedicated to art collecting both Islamic and Persian, eras of Safavid, Zand and Ghajar and Western contemporary art. Whether for training, in his youth in Switzerland and Canada, and his particular sensitivity, the artist mature over time, next to the passion for collecting and entrepreneurship commitment, intention to personally engage in a type of painting, mostly acrylic on canvas, combining an attitude of middle East art of handwriting gestures at a painting of the Western sign. His intense experience on the area of architecture and design stimulates his creativity when he paints and when he works on environmental creations. His emotional intensity is expressed in a profound writing, which emerges from his inner world, from emotions experienced during childhood and the years of his international education. His pictorial writing is not made up of recognizable letters of the alphabet, but gestural impulses inventing new alphabets, aimed to express the unconscious secret impulses, emotional moments of his experiences, the creative energy running through it during the pictorial action. Its culture of ancient writing, which drew light and elegant forms by the art of lettering and the Middle Eastern decoration, is freed from the burden of the literal meaning to speak, beyond the word, through the form, gesture, color, the body, poetry. The daily practice, often at night, painting becomes for Saeed Kouros the released action, a conquest of inner freedom, which originated from a kind of meditation exercise in the silence of his studio, which leads him to seek and find its most authentic secret identity. His mysterious inscriptions, from a dreamlike and surreal world, seem to be screwed by wind spirals. Particularly expressive are his charcoal drawings on paper or cardboard. His color palette is based on the whites, the blacks, blues, golden ocher. His pictorial universe is divided into two main currents. On one side it takes shape the current gestural, abstract, informal, built on empty, crossed by signs or instant writing gestures, emancipated from the readability, because freed from the constraint of a sense of a conventional and coded meaning. On another side is shaped geometric current, built on a Cartesian plane, on a Euclidean metric, such as the map of a living space, traversable, but still abstract, structured by a linear system which intersects with hatches and panels resulting from a ‘need for mental order. The spiral and curve express the dynamic calligraphies energy from the Soul of Saeed Kouros, while the square and the line expressing the order and balance of his “Dimore Mentali”.
“Through his work, Kouros gives new meanings to movement, weight and direction, producing a kind of art that reflects the history of his life: From art scholar to art collector and entrepreneur, then a sudden enlightenment at the ripe age of sixty-five, like a Zen Satori for his own creativity” .
“Kouros writes. These are letters from deep within him, letters that are not written with the alphabet. What he puts onto the canvas is paint. What we see is color that is expressive and sometimes confusing. Sometimes we understand it correctly. We understand it not because it is writing but because it is the essence of art with all its power of expression and transformation of emotions. Kouros communicates, complains, screams and calms himself through his art… He has been able to masterly combine colors and composition in order to allow his restless soul to create.”
“Saeed Kouros is one of the rare people who have discovered the secrets of calligraphy and geometry while writing and keeping away from the usual clichés he has reached new heights.”
“The silence speaks …”
Natural landscapes, trees, snow.
The feeling of solitude is interrupted by human figures as to join us on a path in this harsh realm yet sublime.
Abbas Gharib with most respect, simplicity and without presumption invites us to follow almost on tiptoe, through this, his minimal representation, almost abstract, the look of his great friend and prodigious Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.
Kiarostami had captured in his Photo Collection Snow White the natural beauty of the Iranian landscape in black and white. The contrast of lights and shades in these snowy landscapes, the simple purity of the lines, the focus on the trees and the patterns that their trunks and branches create, through the shadows on the beam and uneven surface of the wet snow from the sun, are the visions, at the same time introspective and deeply universal. The greatness and the beauty of the unspool natural world, stylized through the shades of gray evoke a mood of solitary meditation mood.
Gharib, in what could be read as a kind of homage, seems to want to give visual life to his long conversations with Kiarostami on the power of nature -the snow that cancels out any geographical reference, no matter if we are in Tehran or in the hills around Verona, which washes and cleanses from all belongings or political-religious relevance- as if to revive the many unanswered questions that suddenly emerge when you look at nature at its majestic simplicity.
The impression is to have the privilege of attending a conversation between two friends on meditation on the greatness of nature and the need to escape from the complexity’ of everyday life.
“In a snowy morning I run out, hatless and coat, happy as a child.”
Clelia Belgrado, November 2016