Ezgi Kılınçaslan
»Berlun«, 2008
Video, colour, sound, 6:30 min
Courtesy the artist and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin

Ezgi Kılınçaslan

June 4 – July 1, 2010

Invited by Florian Wüst (artist and film curator, Berlin)

»Berlun« (2008)

»I am such a mess, I feel shattered and I have the feeling I'll never be able to put the pieces together.« Ezgi Kılınçaslan’s video »Berlun«, an extremely dense photo-film merging snapshots and self-portaits taken with the camera of a mobile phone, begins with this expression of insecurity. The visual intimacy of the artist’s changing moods and every-day experiences is accompanied by a Turkish monologue spoken by herself, and appearing translated into English in subtitles. Kılınçaslan relates how she moved from Istanbul to Berlin in order to become a student at the Academy of Art, but it seemed like she had never left Istanbul. Here as much as there looks and comments on the street seem to stand for a social reality dominated by sexism and fixed gender roles, conventional bourgeois values and national projections.

It is against this thicket of attributions, which proves to be particularly narrow and stifling for someone with the identity of migrant as well as female, Kılınçaslan sets the refusal to let herself be pinned down. The video executes the concept of a world beyond thinking in simple categories of black and white on a formal level too. Complementing the technique of blending individual images, condensing space and time, blurring and overlaying their boundaries, the artist allocates two or three different words to individual verb and noun positions in the English subtitles. This results in a clever play with nuanced shifts in meaning and ambiguities, referring, as it were, to a radical subjectivity.

Seeking out and finding the political in the personal – Kılınçaslan employs artistic means to translate this familiar formula into a direct gesture of self-assertion. The initial confusion at first encountering the new city culminates in an apologia of an “I” which is the stronger for it: »pouring/shouting/screaming out not what i am obliged to but what comes from my heart.«

Text: Florian Wüst

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