Sep 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Images that Breathe: Radical Memory in Times of Amnesia
conversation to follow with belit sağ & Almudena Escobar López
Images are alive like the stories that they contain. They can be felt, smelt, touched, squeezed and heard. The evidence that each image holds varies depending on who is telling the story. For filmmaker belit sağ, images are durational points in time that can be rewound and forwarded. Through retelling, gesture, collage, and text, belit resists institutionalized history, examining how ideology is embedded in images.
belit’s films ask what responsibilities do we have as viewers? What are the parameters of vision that guide us? Her expanded viewing proposes a personal, meditative exercise that invites the viewer to defocus knowledge, to amplify things that are overlooked, left on the side, or simply ignored. belit’s films create an open playground where knowledge is generated through the friction between facts and subjective fictions. Memory displays itself as a modular space of interconnections and storytelling becomes a closer way to look at facts.
We’re delighted to welcome researcher and curator, Almudena Escobar López to present a selection of belit’s work. This program includes her latest video essay work, found footage short videos and some examples from her time as a member of the video-activist collective VideA during the early 2000s in Turkey. belit and Almudena will be in conversation after the screening to discuss the relationships between image production and ideology.
my camera seems to recognize people
2015, 3:23 min
A video poem in three parts, on recording and being exposed to the images of death and destruction.
2018, 3:49 min
The video takes a closer look into the police file photo of the victims of National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany. NSU was a Neo-nazi group, that killed 10 people over the course of 8 years. Nine of them have a migrant background, mostly Turkish, Kurdish. These racially motivated murders not only show the strong Neo-nazi networks existing in Germany but also the structural racism in police force, secret service and the media. What does a police file photo of the victims have to share with the viewer?
2011, 1:50 min
The outside eye that conservatively observes, judges and classifies the migrated. The video takes a look at the fear of the unknown, the far away, the unfamiliar, be it the Turks, Martians or the Chinese.
27-28-29 Haziran 2004 NATO Istanbul (29 haziran 2004)
2004, 17:56 min
Demonstrations during NATO summit in 2004, Istanbul, Turkey.
2013, 1:52 min
Different ways Global South thanks the Global North. A video-message to the Western society, where Indonesian garment worker Yanti is constantly repeating the words ‘thank you for your solidarity’, in different pronunciations and tones to do it in the ‘correct’ way.
disruption / aksama
2016, 5 min
A first-person footage of belit sağ’s feet as she walks from one building to another with a superimposed mosaic of images from Turkish news combined with popular films and clips that gradually interact with each other.
Ayhan and me / Ayhan ve ben
2015, 14:12 min
This video was created for a censored exhibition in Istanbul. Explicitly discussing its own production and censorship at the hands of Turkish officials, it is an incisive examination of the power of images, the roles and responsibilities of representation, sanctioned history-making, and the charged relationship between art and state control.
2013, 0:48 min
Dismantling an image from the political history of Turkey. past forward takes a video footage which is shared with public with 20 years delay, and discusses visibility, representation and death of an image.
Kirk kere söylersen... / If you say it forty times...
2017, 5:04 min
The work investigates political amnesia by looking at the media images, mainly of public figures from mafia, the state and their collaborators, in Turkey in the last forty years. Some should not know what they know; others can only explain their acts by claiming to be mentally absent in critical moments. On the other hand, there are people who do not forget anything. The history is squeezed in moments of remembering and forgetting.
geriye kalanlar / what remains
2018, 7:05 min
what remains is constructed from images that sag shot and gathered during 2015 and 2016 in Cizre, a primarily Kurdish town in Turkey on the Syrian border, as well as found footage from all over Turkey from the same period. A focus of the work is the artist’s footage of collective Kurdish mourning practices, and looking at how images of the dead are used in these practices. sağ approaches her subject both philosophically and emotionally, and is driven to find a way of making work that is theoretically rigorous and morally and ethically compassionate.
belit sağ is a videomaker and visual artist living in Amsterdam. She studied mathematics in Turkey and visual arts in the Netherlands. Her background in moving images is rooted in her work within video-activist groups in Ankara and Istanbul, where she co-initiated groups such as VideA, karahaber, and bak.ma. She has completed residencies at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York and at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam among others. Her ongoing artistic and moving image practice largely focuses on the role of visual representations of violence in the experience and perception of political conflicts in Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Almudena Escobar López is an independent curator, archivist, and researcher from Galicia. She is Time-Based Media Curatorial Assistant at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY and is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She has curated programs for CCinema Camp in Lithuania, Baltic Analog Lab in Riga, The Alternative Film/Video film festival in Belgrade, The Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival (FLEX), Vtape in Toronto, and ULTRAcinema in Xalapa, Mexico. She is a member of the collective screening project On-Film and co-curated with Herb Shellenberger the 2018’ Winter/Spring Flaherty NYC series ‘Common Visions’ at Anthology Film Archives. Her writing has been featured in Walden, Vdrome, Vertical Features, MUBI Notebook, The Brooklyn Rail, Afterimage, Film Quarterly, Little White Lies, and Desistfilm Magazine. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY; and the Advisory Board of Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, Buffalo, NY.