COFFEE WITH SUGAR
Selection from Turkey
curator: Basak Senova
artists: Extrastruggle, Bengisu Bayrak, Selda Asal, Ceren Oykut, Erhan Muratoglu, Basak Kaptan, Maria Frycz
organizer: lab.preparat (Seoul)
co-organizers: InterSpace (Sofia), Netfilmmakers (Copenhagen), NOMAD (Istanbul)
venue: Seoul: Café Vam, yri cafe, Cafe factory, Cafe VW, Sofia: The tea house, The A:partment,Istanbul: Akbank Art and Culture Center, Resfest, Turkey, Copenhagen: The Bobble Contemporary Art, Cafe Karriere
coordinates: Seoul, Sofia, Istanbul, Copenhagen, 2007-2008
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COFFEE WITH SUGAR
Through the opportunity to share media art works with rather unfamiliar countries, Coffee with Sugar served as a meaningful step to get to understand other societies and to explore common artistic language that touches the hearts of many. In this project, it was our keen interest to collect the society-reflecting works or those that have strong will to take an active role in society. This collection of works provided an opportunity to look around society and raise awareness of what really goes on around us.
As with different style of drinking and enjoying coffee, the stories from different countries vary significantly. Tasting others’ coffee, admitting the differences, and adjusting the amount of sugar would be something that coffee and art have in common.
SELECTION FROM TURKEY
Turkish Light Arts, 2002
ExtraStruggle aka Memed Erdener transfers his graphical visual language to alternative modes of visual production. Thereby, he produces imageries as an amalgamation of national and popular signs, codes and symbols with black humour. The work displays similarities, oppositions and the common interests of ideological discourses that appear as harsh conflicts in Turkey.
“Fast-Iman” questions the relevance of religious messages for contemporary life. In another level, it also documents the consequences of neo-lib- eral economy to our way of living. The video documents a marketing strategy that a mosque in Istanbul develops by running lines from the Quaran on a digital display screen above the entry of a mosque.
Lost Postcard, 2005-2005
Selda Asal and Ceren Oykut take the city as the cen- ter of their research and productions. The narration of Lost Postcard forms a fragmented landscape of Istanbul. Selda Asal, who works mostly with video to explore ways of documenting visual memory vignettes, collaborates with Ceren Oykut for this project. Oykut’s drawings also take daily life experi- ences in the city - mostly “Istanbul” - as the setting of her works. Her drawings create plastic realities through mundane details of life in the company of visual rhetoric. These drawings take part in mul- tidisciplinary projects concentrating on Istanbul’s sounds and cult.
We are living a transition period. Conventional media has mutated into something which strives to fit in the massive amount of digi- tal data into its limited analogue space. “I/O Interface Overbloated” exposes the bottleneck condition in which new digital data try to flow through the television screen. The struggle between the narrated news and visual data feed creates bizarre conditions and undefined zones for the viewer/data receiver. The con- ventional TV screen is encapsulated by the new data forcing to find a way to flow.
This video work contains a casual talk with 94 years old woman, who had migrated from Bulgaria to Turkey when she was young. Her personal collection of photographs inhabits disparate hints of her life while she is sharing her fragmented personal memories. “Nigar” refrains from any immersive storytelling as Muratoglu perceptibly had no intention to build any intimacy with the subject. Yet, the sin- cere memories build fascinating links to unoffi- cial and untold history of the 20th century.
The hairdresser, 2004
The video of Basak Kaptan and Maria Frycz draws the viewer in a realm where a story is told through a set of still photographs, yet accompanied with a soundtrack in which the time flows in some strangeway, while giving the sense of being there. Have we been there, really?