Turkey's first museum of modern and contemporary art, Istanbul Modern, presents the Artists' Film International program as an online exhibition featuring videos, animations and short films by artists from different geographies. In its 14th year, the program this year focuses on the theme of “care.”
Established by the Whitechapel Gallery, London in 2008, the Artists' Film International program includes 21 global partner organizations. Under this collaboration, institutions share their research on video art with each other and participate in the program by choosing an artist's work from their country based on a different theme every year.
Istanbul Modern hosts the latest iteration of the program, which is normally held at the museum every year, as an online exhibition on the museum's website this year due to COVID-19 pandemic measures. Nine videos will be screened at the Artists' Film International 2021 online exhibition, whose program and content were prepared by Istanbul Modern chief curator Öykü Özsoy and assistant curator Nilay Dursun.
Artists include Sena Başöz, Thania Petersen, Clare Langan, Giulio Squillacciotti, Himali Singh Soin, Agne Jokse, Rehana Zaman, Patty Chang and Kiri Dalena. The program will be available for online access until July 31.
The necessity of caring about nature, the environment, animals, plants and people – that is, all the elements that bring life together – and at the same time carefully approaching the forms of relationships we establish with each other as countries and individuals, becomes more and more critical with each passing day.
Especially after a year when the entire world was trapped in their homes due to the effects of the coronavirus, people focused on their ability to act collectively in order to continue their lives making the concept of "caring" felt much more. Therefore, the selection of Artists' Film International 2021 offers insight into the theme of “care” addressed through various frameworks and forms of expression. Let’s take a quick look at some of the videos that are in the screening program.
Artist Sena Başöz attends the program this year, with the invitation of Istanbul Modern. Başöz's video titled "The Box" will be screened both at Istanbul Modern and at the international partners of the program in 2021.
Although she was educated in economics at Boğaziçi University, Başöz received a master's of fine arts from Bard College Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in Film and Video. After her film education, she started to produce works that focus on healing processes after traumas evolving out of the importance of care. Her recent Istanbul exhibitions “A Consolation” at Krank Art Gallery and “On Lightness” at DEPO Istanbul drew great attention from art lovers.
In her “The Box,” the artist again examines gestures of care. In the four-and-a-half-minute video, viewers see that hands gently stroke a woman’s hair and reveal symbolic objects hidden in her locks. In the process of unveiling various object in the woman’s hair, Başöz works with the notions of care that triggers various contrasts such as concealment and revelation and death and life.
Another standout video of the program is Clare Langan’s “Flight from the City,” which takes connection and love as the focal point. In the video, we see a mother and a daughter in the hot springs of Fludir, Iceland. While the hot spring symbolizes the powerful bond and intimate relationship between a parent and a child, the title of the video also suggests a flight from the safety of home.
In “Invocation for a Wandering Lake: Part 1 & 2,” Patty Chang looks at the theme of care through a different perspective. Calling for contemplation on human and nonhuman lives and the natural environment, the video brings viewers to Fogo Island, Canada and the desert of Muynak, Uzbekistan. While the artist washes a deceased whale in the coast of Fogo Island, she also scrubs the shell of an abandoned ship in Muynak. Although her repetitive actions seem meaningless as both of them cannot return the whale and ship to life, they appear as a kind of ritual of care and mourning.
Another video in the program, “KASSARAM” interrogates the artistic strategies historically used by European colonial forces to demarcate hierarchies of people in South Africa. Thania Petersen names the video after the old Malay word “kassaram,” which means “big mess” or things being “upside down.” In this video, Petersen implies how modern-day imperialist agendas impose contemporary “Orientalist” views onto diverse communities worldwide.
You can visit the website of Istanbul Modern to receive more information about the videos and to have online access to them.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.