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Abtin Sarabi

Abtin Sarabi

Si l’homme, à temps, avait ouvert ses yeux égarés


This interactive video installation travels between past, present and future: real and imaginary. The action takes place in a reconstituted sitting room where, one by one, objects come to life: the light, a television, a clock, background noise, a telephone. A screen placed on the table reflexively shows the room, now occupied by the family that was there a week earlier. Each object is a clue, and if the visitor picks up the phone a surprising exchange will ensue. This project began with the words of families suffering financial, social or personal problems, whose members may have come close to suicide. Childhood is not only a stage of development like other phases in life, it is also the period when the individual is constructed. To reflect on childhood is to reflect on humanity. Children’s vision of the world is profound and deeply meaningful. It should make us think and act. The positioning of each object in the installation corresponds in a way to the notion of the punctum analysed by Roland Barthes. The simultaneous presence of the real and the unreal, of the past, present, and future, is important. A bit like in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film The Mirror, which presents us with a new way of “feeling” time. Time that unfolds in a structure built on irregular rhythms and that becomes Other in terms of sensation. For Tarkovsky, going back to the past does not necessarily mean going against the current. Fragments of time always accumulate but do not follow a linear succession. Here, past events generally seem remote, constrained by the effort of memory, but we can act so that our most distant past appears as close as our present.

Johanna Korthals Altes, Vincent Nemeth, Jade and Cassandre Baptista, Guillaume Brault, Sébastien Cabour, Valérie Takemoto, Yosra Mojtahedi, Timothée Couteau.
And a great thanking for their artistic advice : Arnaud Petit, Philippe Faure, Daniel Dobbels, Madeleine Van Doren.

Director: Abtin Sarabi
With: Johanna Korthals Altes, Vincent Nemeth, Jade and Cassandre Baptista
Production assistant: Nicolas Turek
Staged assistant: Valérie Tokemoto
Continuity Man : Shoko Atsuchi
Chief cameraman: Guillaume Brault
Assisting operator: Bastien Rebena
Electro leader: David Wojkowiak
Stills photographer: Yosra Mojtahedi
Sound engineer: Sébastien Cabour
Perchman: Luc Aureille
Make-up woman / hairdressers: Léa Cucinotta, Laura Simunic
Editor Sound and Mixer: Yannick Delmaire
Cellist: Timothée Couteau
Timer: Aymeric Ayral
Compositing and special effects: Fabien Husselin
Stuntman: Nicolas Lefebvre
Electronic Programming of the installation: Antoine Rousseau, Jean-Marc Delannoy

Abtin Sarabi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1984. After having studied oriental philosophy, painting and photography at the University of Art of Tehran, he focused his practice on video art and cinema. In 1998, he began a personal photographic work leaning as much toward documentary and sociology as staged photography. In 2010 he studies at the Art school of Toulouse, France where he received his DNAP and DNSEP diplomas throughout which he had directed seven short films and several photographic series. His early films are often refered to what we call ‘poetic cinema’ and remain evidence of his influence of Iranian director Kiarostami and Russian director Tarkovski particularly through his consistant research exploring the symbolic and mythologic dimension of cinema. Currently, Abtin Sarabi lives and works in Tehran, Iran though also in France at the Fresnoy - Studio national des artscContemporains in Tourcoing where the artist is enrolled in the post graduate program and where he has directed his first documentary film : Âhlé Hava (The People of the Wind), and created his new video-installation.