Tate Modern Film

Parviz Kimiavi: P Like Pelican

Parviz Kimiavi, P like Pelican 1972, photograph © Parviz Kimiavi, courtesy the artist

Parviz Kimiavi Oh Protector of the Gazelles, 1970, video still

This selection of Parviz Kimiavi’s mid-length films from the beginning of the 1970’s show his subtle and almost imperceptible shifts between reality and invention. In his early work we find remarkable documentaries that appear unreal and tales that make us question what reality is. Whether focusing on religious beliefs and rituals, archaeology, history, science or local oral storytelling traditions, Kimiavi’s exploration of Iranian cultural identity conveys mixed feelings between parody and authenticity to produce some of his richest and most compelling works balanced between ethnography and art.

The screening will feature an illustrated introduction by Morad Montazami, adjunct research-curator at Tate Modern, for the Middle East and North Africa.

Film programme

Parviz Kimiavi Oh Protector of the Gazelles / Yâ Zâmene Âhu, Iran 1970, 20 min

An ethnographic and compulsive recording of the lamentations ritual at the Mausoleum of Imam Reza in the city of Mashad. The sanctimonious cries clash with the integrally ornamented and gold mosaics. It seems like the ritual lasts forever. Day falls into night and night falls into day.

Parviz Kimiavi P like Pelican / P mesle Pelican, Iran 1972, black and white, 26 min

An allegoric look at ruins that have been home to an old hermit throughout his life, who is fooled by a group of children living nearby. While explaining the alphabet to them, at the letter P he runs up against an unknown white creature.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

20 June 2015 at 16.00–18.00