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Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami, Doors Without Keys (detail), 2015, fifty digital prints on canvas, audio, dimensions variable.

ABBAS KIAROSTAMI’S grievously premature death this past July transformed two of his final works, the art installation Doors Without Keys, 2015, and the film Like Someone in Love (2012), into inadvertent requiems. To discern portents of mortality in the last creations of artists whose expiry is untimely—Mozart’s unfinished Requiem being the most famous and vexing example—is a perilous game, but that has never stopped critics from reading Fassbinder’s Querelle (1982) or Pasolini’s Salò (1975) as auguries of their makers’ own willed demise. Though Kiarostami’s optimistic humanism, his determination to wrest from privation and catastrophe a cinema of “complexity, finesse, of poetry,” as he had recently avowed, refutes any such drastic interpretation, both Doors and Like Someone in Love now prove disquieting as unintentional elegies, the former for its aesthetic impasse, the

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