Kutluğ Ataman’s 1+1=1 (2002) uses the interview format to recount the story of Nese Yasin, who has been condemned to flee the community conflicts that have divided the north and south parts of the island of Cyprus. The narrative becomes a long monologue in which the woman seems to be alone with herself. Split between two adjacent screens, the portrait reveals Yasin’s quest for identity through the partition of Cyprus. In creating a mirror video image, Ataman experimented with an innovative device to transfigure the intimate narrative and documentary issues associated with testimony.
Kutluğ Ataman was born in 1961 in Istanbul, Turkey. He lives and works in Istanbul.
In 1997, with his first video piece, Kutluğ Ataman’s Semiha b. unplugged, director Kutluğ Ataman opened up the field of his work to new film processes by freeing himself from documentary and portraiture and their conventional codes. Combining apparently neutral fram- ing with a keen attention to detail, his films marry documentary aims to elaborate stagings tailored to the venues where they are shown. The re-examined testimonies of women (Women Who Wear Wigs, 1999), the botanist Veronica Read (The Four Seasons of Veronica Read, 2002), and Ceyhan Firat (Never My Soul!, 2001) weave together the forms of biography, oral tradition, and interview. Each character’s narrative unfolds in an extended monologue in which speech is isolated and intensified. The figure of the artist disappears from the narrative. Because words form the action, they assume epic proportions when the characters come to grips with themselves. Language, reigning supreme over a period of several hours, structures the image — split in two, multiplied, hung apart from the wall, or arranged in a circle, the projection permeates every corner of the exhibition space. From Vicious Circle (2002) to Küba (2004), Ataman explores the effects gener- ated by the appearance of the image and its extension into three dimensions. Far from being obviously spectacular, these works have an expositional economy that stays close to the characters and their complex identities.
Since 1997, Kutluğ Ataman has had a number of solo exhibitions (MuHKA, Antwerp, 2006; Long Streams, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2002). Works of his have also been shown at the Tate Triennial (Days Like These, London, 2003), Documenta 11 (Kassel, 2002), and the Istanbul Biennale (2003).
372, Sainte-Catherine West St., space 403
514 874 9423
SEPT. 4–OCT. 3, 2009
Tuesday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
> Opening Friday, Sept 11 2009 at 6 p.m.