Michael Sicinski (Film Critic) on Mirage (moving image) at First Look Festival at The Museum of the Moving Image, NYC, January 2017
"The best film in Savirón’s program, and the single biggest discovery in this year’s Museum of the Moving Image program, comes from Iranian-Irish filmmaker Atoosa Pour Hosseini. Mirage is a deceptively simple study of a set of fragments of a landscape. Muddy puddles and hilltops in a pinhole haze, we soon see these same images funneled through reverberating sprocket holes, yellow light pouring through the edges of the grainy, black and white earth. The nearly silent film reverses its terms, with the landscape getting sucked into a rogue sprocket and vibrating horizontally, plunging up and down like the needle in a sewing machine. And then, suddenly, the apparatus asserts itself: the Super 8 projector clacks, and we see the red stripe of end leader bisecting the visual field. Are these artifacts “invasions” of an otherwise unified terra firma? Or is it this very instability that defines this locale?
And did I mention that Pour Hosseini accomplishes all of this in a mere four minutes? A propulsive yet painterly film that never lets up, Mirage does in fact dissipate the closer you get to it. And now, as we are assaulted by all manner of pigheaded certainty in the media and the political sphere, it is that much more of a relief that Mirage thwarts easy assimilation. If we mean to resist, after all, it may be necessary to resist meaning."
Published in January 2017 at MUBI Notebook "On Resistance" at First Look 2017, the full article can be read HERE
Mónica Savirón (Filmmaker and Curator) on Mirage (moving image) at First Look Festival at The Museum of the Moving Image, NYC, January 2017
"Mirage by Atoosa Pour Hosseini 2015, Iran/Ireland, 4mins., Super-8 film on HD, color, sound. The artist looks at scenes of a woman (Pour Hosseini) and a man at the Iranian Maranjab Desert through the texture of a film strip on top of it, and through its sprocket holes. Dirt, are, and red ink printed on the celluloid add to the images of the landscape a patina of optical illusions, even though the original moving images were, by definition, tricking the eye in first place. Pour Hosseini’s work focuses on the delivery of reality as deceptive apparition, and vice versa. She actively moves the position and angle of the filmstrip over footage that shows herself as part of the action. The sound of this film, a kind of malfunctioning mechanical timer, is from the telecine machine. It emphasizes the ephemerality of impressions with an acute sense of urgency. The sculpted layers of images provide a sense of cumulative, growing experience, and also a feeling of unspoken pain. This work has been shown as a performance at Art Box Dublin."
Published in January 2017 at On Resistance program note, First Look Festival 2017, the full article can be read HERE
MIRAGE performance reviewed by Alice Butler in Enclave Review 14 magazine. Its available at venues: Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Sample Studios, Cork; Café Gulpd, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin; IMMA, Dublin; Galway Arts Centre; Limerick City Gallery; Ormston House, Limerick; 126 Gallery, Galway; Catalyst Arts, Belfast; Goleb, Amsterdam; Pro qm, Berlin; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh.
Published in September 2016 at Enclave Review 14, it can be read HERE
Alice Butler and Daniel Fitzpatrick (Curator and Film Programmer) on "The Films of Experimental Film Society" at Irish Film Institute (IFI) May 2016
"Moving beyond a purely conceptual realm, these films are what happens when experience is allowed to overtake expectation. This also rules out the possibility of failure as each film exists in an indeterminate state of becoming. They also retain their capacity to upset the continuum, to disrupt the seeming stability of our current condition and perhaps no film in the programme better captures that state of fragility than Atoosa Pour Hosseini’s Clandestine, in which the porous nature of analogue film is used to play with different moods, states and temporalities. Along with Rouzbeh’s work, Clandestine is the film that is perhaps most at one with existing in what seems to be some forgotten aspect of cinema’s projected futures. The onscreen space of Pour Hosseini’s film suggests a space-time that is continuous with our own but also altogether foreign. It directly evokes the many worlds of possibility cinema suggests, and through it the apparent solidity of our own existence is rendered fractious and plastic."
Published in May 2016 at AEMI (artists’ and experimental moving image) the full article can be read HERE
Maximilian Le Cain (Filmmaker, Critic and Curator) on "Luminosity" an Exhibition by Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Cork Film Centre Gallery, June 9th – July 6th 2013
Atoosa Pour Hosseini is an Iranian visual artist who has been based in Dublin for the past few years. Her practice, which includes drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture, has expanded more recently to embrace video and performance involving multiple video projections. Her exhibition Luminosity at Cork Film Centre Gallery in Ballincollig, Co. Cork this June reflected this shift in her work, while maintaining a strong and nourishing link to drawing.
On entering the gallery lobby, the first thing the visitor is greeted with is a large charcoal landscape: dark, mysterious and imposing, rendered in near silhouette. We might be looking up from a swamp. The edges of the image- branches of a tree, the top of a cliff- are detailed, but most of the image is pure texture, and the sky and a small pool at the centre of the composition are blank. (Images of the exhibition can be found here.) This stark but subtle drawing is at once extremely physical in its emphasis on the charcoal texture and ethereal in its zones of emptiness. As such, it invites viewers in, giving them a space and an atmosphere that they cannot but enter emotionally, or at least add something of themselves to. It would be hard to find a better introduction to Pour Hosseini’s thematic concerns: location, reflection, nostalgia and her relationship with her surroundings.
Another thing worth noting about this charcoal drawing is that it presents landscape as layers. As becomes more apparent in Pour Hosseini’s videos, landscape in her work is always a layer, at once evocative and insubstantial. The superimpositions of images in layers in the videos (and the suppression of layers of the image in this drawing) introduce an awareness of time, identifying images with memory’s capacity to simultaneously regard multiple images and also to erase aspects of them, as in the drawing’s blank spaces. Yet this subjectivity remains uncannily open and mysterious in its relationship with specific places and events, like watching filmed images of ones own life as found footage.
The shape of the charcoal drawing leads us to the video works in the main gallery: its size and dimensions suggest a 16:9 video projection, and on entering the gallery and encountering the large projection directly opposite the entrance, there is the immediate impression that the drawing is another layer of the video, somehow projected across space and through the wall. This impression is heightened by the fact that the video contains numerous frames within frames, all arranged as rectangles centered in the middle of the frame. The video work, all of a remarkable and haunting visual beauty, is drawn from material made in response to the environs of Cork Film Centre Gallery, woodland scattered with 19th century industrial ruins. In these images, the artist wanders through this landscape, exploring it in a complex series of multiple superimpositions that include a semi-transparent black rectangle. On the wall opposite this is another projection, smaller, more concentrated.
These two projections are flanked by two other complimentary works. In an alcove, a series of three small drawings are suspended one above the other, all hanging from the same thread, gradually turning in mid-air so that sometimes the image faces away from the viewer. Another means of interrogating the conventional solidity of the image. And if one can find both image and motion in these floating drawings, the small lamp casting a soft, screen shaped patch of light on the wall opposite provides the luminous element missing in the, literally, ‘moving images’ on the thread.
This complex series of relationships between still and moving images that functions to extract time from the traditional horizontal passage of a single-channel film/video and to draw the ‘memory’ on screen into the present moment (literally ‘sculpting in time’) through working on ‘layers’ both within the moving image and in the space around it, is elaborated and clarified in the two remarkable performances Pour Hosseini presented in collaboration with sound artist Mick O’Shea. In the first (presented at The Guesthouse in Cork this April), Pour Hosseini created a ‘web’ of thread in front of a screen on which she projected two already densely layered videos, moving and manipulating the projectors throughout. Towards the end of the piece, she cut the thread. In the second (which took place at the opening of the Luminosity exhibition and proved much darker than Guesthouse performance), she incorporated documentation of the first performance, implying that this was another layer of the previous work- a moment in time not so much continued or repeated as extended from memory into space. And, by implication, that the performed moment was equally part of an ongoing memory unfolding through a present that is at best incidental.
-Maximilian Le Cain
Published in The Autumn 2013 edition of Experimental Conversations Magazine (Experimental Conversations is Cork Film Centre’s online journal of experimental film, art cinema and video art) HERE
Barry Kehoe (Curator and Art writer) on "see the future" at MFA group show at NCAD, June 2014
"Atoosa Pour Hosseini’s work Last Phase (2014) explores the horizon of a sea scape, the distant blue where sky and sea meet and the limitations of being one thing are another, sea or sky become confused by the diffusion of light. It is a video work where a small dark figure half submerged vanishes into a light-drenched ocean as the camera submerges and re-emerges from the claustrophobic waters. Importantly we get a glimpse of a coast line just for a second, a distant set of bleached hills far, far away. Formally the work plays with our ability to define this horizon as it is projected onto a translucent cloth so the image appears twice in two different scales, once on the cloth and again on the wall behind. There is also another textile, a dark cloth normally used for binding two pieces of textile together that interferes with the larger image on the back wall. This cloth creates another horizon line, an interference with the image that can be seen through the nearer projected image. The smaller piece of translucent cloth that first catches the projected image also has a thick grey bar across the top of the cloth keeping it rigid that also forms another horizon. The projection itself is creating its own shadows and so forms more horizon lines. The room becomes a series of horizons brought to life by the shadows that the projection generates. The ability to form a single point of perspective becomes troubled. The scene feels quite melancholic and the disappearance of the character is a narrative that is as unresolved as the attempt to define a true horizon. To sum up this peculiarity of distance and horizon it’s helpful to quote Rebecca Solnit who describes this blue of distance in her book A Field Guide to Getting Lost:"
“…the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the colour blue.”
Published in July 2014 at Art in the Contemporary World HERE
Interview with Particle Art (2013) Read Here
Interview with International Streaming Festival (2011) Read Here