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Play of Glances: Three Works by Maryam Tafakory

Sunday, Feb 5, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Maryam Tafakory’s work radically recontextualizes film, poetry, and archival sound and image in order to create a vital dialogue with post-Revolution Iranian cinema. Her video essays and live performances utilize digital collage to both create and illuminate existing layers of meaning. Tafakory’s work provides a prismatic lens onto Iranian cinema and storytelling without centering the Western gaze, accessible to those who might not be familiar with the cultural artifacts she uses, even as the films are created for those who are. This program features two of Tafakory’s resonant short films, as well as a rarely performed live piece for which there can be no recording or other form of documentation. The ephemeral quality of this work makes it the most poignant expression of Tafakory’s engagement with the seen and unseen, the taboo, the abstracted, and the veiled.

Program includes:

Code Names
Dir. Maryam Tafakory. 2022, 21 mins. Digital projection and live performance. Revisiting films made in Iran after 1979, Code Names is an archival search for the unspoken that is speaking—a search for forgotten names, for forbidden bodies, for women’s disappearances both on and off the screen. Tafakory will be narrating live; no two performances of this work are the same, and as recording is not permitted, this piece can only be experienced this once, in person.

Irani Bag 
Dir. Maryam Tafakory. Iran. 2021, 8 mins. In Farsi with English subtitles. Digital projection. This split-screen video essay deconstructs the depiction of a seemingly innocent object—the handbag—in order to propose a textual and political analysis of censorship and intimacy in post-revolution Iran. Irani Bag invites the spectator to reconsider the relationship between sight and touch.

Dir. Maryam Tafakory. Iran. 2022, 19 mins. In Farsi with English subtitles. Digital projection. Nazarbazi (the play of glances) is a film about love and desire in Iranian cinema, where depictions of intimacy and touch between women and men are prohibited.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.