Azin Feizabadi

Conference of the Birds
Germany, USA, Iran 2011

14.02. 17:30 OmEU Cinema Arsenal 1
15.02. 21:00 OmEU Cinema Arsenal 2

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CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS is part of Azin Feizabadi's ongoing series A Collective Memory. Drawing on the medieval saga Mantiq at-Tayr, composed in 1177 by the Sufi poet Attar, the eponymous project Conference of the Birds is a cinematically projected event that takes the form of a narrative film. The scene is a trial in an empty, abandoned space, a no-where, a moment in-between time. There are two characters: a judge and an accused. The accused is a filmmaker who has made an amorous film in order to illuminate the distance between himself and his beloved. After the film's completion, he is arrested and accused of creating a film that has induced hypnosis amongst the citizens, causing them to rise up and turning their inner reality outward into the public sphere.
CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS is narrated by a voiceover: the voice of the lover who made the hypnotizing film. This voice narrates two interwoven stories: the first layer describes the scene of the trial. The second narrative is the story of the Conference of the Birds itself, the film as seen by the spectator here and now. This story is addressed to an indefinite 'you' as a story of love and the memories of its being told in other places at other times. A sequence of historical, revolutionary uprisings is interspersed throughout the narrative, namely 1986 in Quezon City, 1989 in Bucharest, and 2010 in Tunis. Additionally, there is a third character, a hooded figure, who appears and disappears throughout the progression of the film. S/he is the soldier of melancholia, the servant of the court and traveler of time. This figure's presence is ambivalent, suspended as an embodiment between the voice of the storyteller and the spectator him or herself.
Spread out across these two narratives, the spectator migrates together with the voiceover through seven acts as the group of birds travel through seven valleys in search of the 'bird of the birds',the Sirmurgh, arriving at the final scene, the seventh stage, where all the answers are supposed to be given, and yet: nothing will be revealed.

Azin Feizabadi, born 1982 in Tehran, Iran. Lives and works in Berlin, member of the art assocciation NewYorkRioTokyo e.V. in Berlin, co-Founder of Reloading Images (http://www.reloadingimages.org/). Filmography: GOL-HA (FLOWER-S) (2005), ZWEI MONATE SEIN (TWO MONTHS TO BE) (2006), NYAYESH - A CONVERSATION WITH  EBRAHIM SHAHROUDI (2007-2008), THE EPIC OF THE LOVERS: MAFIA, GOD AND THE CIZIZENS (2009)

Format: HD, colour
Running time: 48 min