In The Frame
In The Frame
In The Frame

Artist delves into Iran's tragic cinema blaze

by The Art Newspaper  |  25 January 2017
Artist delves into Iran's tragic cinema blaze
Mahmoud Bakhshi, The Unity of Time and Place, narrative projects, London, narrativeprojects.com

A new show at the narrative projects gallery in Fitzrovia, London, lifts the lid on a pivotal moment in Iran’s history, drawing attention to a tragic fire at the Cinema Rex in Abadan, southern Iran on 19 August 1978 (The Unity of Time and Place; 27 January-11 March). The Iranian artist Mahmoud Bakhshi focuses on the blaze which claimed the lives of more than 400 people. Bakhshi is promising an immersive installation using “historical events and archival footage to construct a story, with no claim of conducting an investigative enquiry”, a press statement says. The cinema catastrophe is thought to have sparked the Iranian Revolution of 1979 when the Shah was overthrown. Bakhshi has unearthed some significant nuggets linked to the atrocity; he has, for instance, interviewed Masoud Kimiai who directed The Deers (Gavaznha), the film that was showing when the arson attack took place. The interview will be screened in the exhibition, which also replicates the cinema interior with vintage furniture and carpets. 

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