Adam Soch, US, 2015, 99 min.
Created by Reza Abdoh’s longtime video collaborator and archivist Adam Soch, this documentary builds a vivid portrait of Reza Abdoh through archival footage and recent interviews. Members of the Dar a Luz theater company chronicle the making of successive productions with Abdoh in Los Angeles, New York, and abroad. The film also features the artist’s family, evoking a childhood deeply altered by the history of Abdoh’s native Iran and an adult creative life in America, bearing the scars of the tumultuous 1980s—the decade of Reaganism, the end of the Cold War, and the AIDS epidemic that would eventually take his life. Traversing this cultural divide, Abdoh reflected in a 1994 interview, “I’m just an addict for American culture, and I’m obsessive about it, and it makes me angry. There is so much food for thought and observation in American culture…. I find it very powerful culture, and I like to critique it, and, in a sense, see where it’s heading and where it can go.”
Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary is one of three films presented by Bidoun Projects in conjunction with Publishing As Practice: Bidoun, an experimental publisher-in-residence project hosted by Ulises and funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Bidoun—whose work as a nonprofit and former magazine focuses on art and culture from the Middle East and its diasporas—is Ulises’s third publisher resident. The evening will begin with a screening of Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary, a feature length documentary on the pioneering Iranian filmmaker, and conclude with a panel discussion with members of Bidoun.