nocturne #2

Pieter Geenen

HD, 12′, 16:9, colour, silent, 2012

Produced by Cultuurcentrum Brugge
Supported by Flemish Community

Registered with a mobile phone camera in the spring of 2011, nocturne #2 shows the central lanes, squares and streets of Tehran at night, at the most quiet moment of the day. In recent history, the area around the infamous Azadi Tower (Freedom Tower) was the backdrop of various protests, demonstrations, and violent repression. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the nationalistic and patriotic demonstrations during the following Iran-Iraq War, or the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections are part of our collective memory.
At the moment of filming, the so called Arab Spring determined life in the Arab world. Revolutions in these countries started after acts of resistance on the infamous local streets and squares. Just like the Iranian protests of 2009, the Arab Spring got captured by citizens using their cell phones. The images subsequently got dispersed on the internet through social media, being the only visual sources of these events since international media were denied access by the totalitarian authorities.
The burdened locations of Tehran are interchangeable with those of the Arabic countries. They are just shown as a scenery, in steady camera shots, with minimal activity and without sound. From the idea of absence, the over-mediatised and familiar images are disposed from their sensational content, their manipulative representation, and even their historical reference. What is left is an absurd and imminent anti-image, cultivating the aesthetics of the mobile phone image quality, and opening reflections on traditional media strategies.

Selected exhibitions & screenings:

Limited Access Festival for Sound, Video and Performance Tehran 2014; Art Brussels Brussels 2014; MARFICI Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente Mar del Plata 2013; International Documentary Festival Iowa City 2013; Saison Vidéo Lille 2013; M – Museum Leuven 2013; ARGOS Centre for Art and Media Brussels 2013; dokumentART European Film Festival for Documentaries Neubrandenburg & Szczecin 2012; Aesthetica Short Film Festival York 2012; Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival Chicago 2012; CIAP Hasselt 2012; De Bond Bruges 2012