Rouzbeh Akhbari & Felix Kalmenson – Shokouk: A Cosmicomedy in Four Acts

Shokouk: A Cosmicomedy in Four Acts, Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson (2023)

Vtape & Images Festival present

Shokouk: A Cosmicomedy in Four Acts
by Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson

Curated by Kiera Boult

April 2 – 30, 2024
Vtape, Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
4th floor, 401 Richmond St. W.
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m. EDT

Vtape is proud to present Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson’s video installation Shokouk: A Cosmicomedy in Four Acts, as part of the 37th Images Festival: Rehearsing Refusal. Through a collage of people, places, and moments, Shokouk tells a story of cosmic aspirations and their earthly geopolitical consequences: a rocket launch at Baikonur Cosmodrome and its ecological impacts on Kazakhstan; the tale of an archival character sentenced to hard labour for inciting an exodus to the moon, as a rebellion against the Tsar; a conversation between 12th- and 13th-century polymaths and astronomers, performed as a karaoke duet at a fictional Chinese infrastructure company’s launch party; and the lone cosmonaut stuck on MIR space station after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In this installation, our shared attraction to the unknown voids of the cosmos collides with the imperialism and violence of space infrastructure.

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Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson, working under the name Pejvak, form an ongoing collaboration. Their films have screened at numerous international film festivals, including São Paulo International Film Festival, Doclisboa, Sharjah Film Platform, Kasseler Dokfest, Arkipel Jakarta International Documentary Experimental Film Festival, and Media City Film Festival. They have won awards, including the Prix George at Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur in 2020. Their work has been exhibited at museums and galleries internationally, including Villa Arson (France), Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands), MAC VAL (France), M HKA (Belgium), Z33 (Belgium), and Si Shang Art Museum (Beijing). They were long-listed for the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2023.

Co-presented by Vtape and Images Festival

401 Richmond St., suite 452
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
416 351-1317

Vtape receives ongoing support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario

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Vtape is an accessible venue with level entrance at the EAST end of the building on Richmond St. West