Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko
15 min | HD | Taiwan | 2017
“The word island is a bird inside of a mountain”, explains the hand.
A photograph of a volcanic stone slice from the east coast of Taiwan, famous for its landscape-like patterns created by minerals and geological pressure; a snapshot of a “Capitoline Wolf” replica sculpture, a symbolic gift from an Italian ambassador to Chiang Kai-shek after he fled Mainland China for the island of Taiwan; Heart of a Mountain forms in the area between these objects whose stories are encoded as images. Technologies of translation form sentences that reach towards understanding, guiding a film that binds together human history and geological time in the obscure space that separates languages.
Conjuring the spirit of both Warren Sonbert and Mark LaPore while resembling the work of neither, this latest film by the team of Anoushahpour / Ferko / Anoushahpour engages with the problem of experiencing a foreign culture. What can we see, and what remains just a blur to us? And how do we avoid perpetuating the dominating, acquisitive gaze? For its part, Heart of a Mountain gives us Taiwan in fragments and fog: the sweat pooling down a policeman’s neck, or the desultory gestures of young people at the beach. Rather than watching other people, we are watching ourselves in the process of grasping for some form of mitigated understanding. And, in a refrain throughout Heart of a Mountain, an unseen subject traces words and phrases on his arm. The writing is but a pressure; it erases itself before it even exists.
–Michael Sicinski, MUBI
Heart of a Mountain, installation view, Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan, May 2017
Heart of a Mountain, trailer
- Peripheral Visions Film Festival, New York City, Apr 21, 2018: https://qubitmusic.com/visions
- European Media Arts Festival (EMAF), Osnabrück, Germany, Apr 19, 2018: https://www.emaf.de/de/Timetable.html
- Fronteira Festival, Goiânia, Brazil, Apr 14, 2018: http://www.fronteirafestival.com/pt/filme/coracao-da-montanha-heart-of-a-mountain
- Wavelengths, Toronto International Film Festival, September 10, 2017: https://www.tiff.net/tiff/heart-of-a-mountain/?v=heart-of-a-mountain
- Taipei Artist Village, Taipei, Taiwan, May 26–June 18 2017: http://www.artistvillage.org/event-detail.php?p=3719 – Installation version