The art of animation in Iran today draws on the artistic heritage of textile design, Persian folk tales and literature, calligraphy and miniature painting, as well as the motifs of interior design, ceramics and architecture. Animation is recognised in Iran as a medium which is closely related to drawing, painting and the graphic arts. This landmark program profiles influential senior figures, including Esfandiar Ahmadieh, Abdollah Alimorad, Vadjollah Fard Moghadam, Ali Akbar Sadeghi and Noureddin Zarrinkelk, through to the current generation of talented emerging artists, including Morteza Ahadi, Laleh Khorramian, Omid Khoshnazar, Mashallah Mohammadi, Moin Samadi, Farkhondeh Torabi and others.
Many animations in The Cypress and the Crow: 50 Years of Iranian Animation feature animal figures — the crow, mouse, fox, goat and many more — which have literary and symbolic associations, and may be alter egos for humanity. The crow appears frequently in literature and animation as an animal which exhibits the baser human traits — selfishness, suspicion and greed — but is also crafty and intelligent. The cypress, sacred in Iran, is associated with the tree of life. In the Islamic tradition, the tree of life is found in heaven and harbours brightly coloured birds, representing the souls of the faithful; it may also represent the human body and aspirations to the divine. Infinitely varied in their reworking of cultural forms, animations from Iran express historical lineages and geographical relationships to create extraordinary visual worlds and produce new identities and forms.
Program curated by Kathryn Weir with film notes as indicated.
The Cypress and the Crow: 50 Years of Iranian Animation film programs
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Via Queensland Art Gallery