Monday, 3 May 2010

Kutlug Ataman, FFF

Jake found Kutlug Ataman's 'fff' , in Whitechapel Gallery last week. We went to see it yesterday, and I cannot believe how visually close it is to my project.

Kutlug Ataman, fff, Whitechapel Gallery

The very nice lady working there let me take this rather shoddy photograph with my phone camera. But luckily there are some better images available online courtesy of the Thomas Dane Gallery..

What the peice is is a collection of old Super 8 footage of family films, re-edited and selected by Ataman, and paired with a comissioned 'blind' score by Michael Nyman (Nyman wasn't allowed to see the footage he was composing an accompaniment for until after he had written it). The result is a sort of disjointed cycle of music-box-esque piano score, coupled with a selection of films. I couldn't tell whether the films were being played on televisions or being projected though? One review said they were projected, but the surface of the film had a lightbox quality to it.

This editing of old imagery, and playing with memory in the form of installation is very similar to the ideas I have been having about my work. The description of the piece given by the Whitechapel Gallery stated "the result (of Ataman's fff) is an aural equivelant of the fragility of memory- fragmented and rewriting itself anew." The aim of my project was to create a translation of a way of recording memory- and although Ataman is using film not animation, he has done much the same thing.

My piece is greatly to do with being an outside party on the footage and imagery used to reach a final result, and bringing it to life in a new way, looking at what moving image evokes in the human mind, the associations with old photography (both mine and Ataman's imagery come form the 1950s), the family nostalgia and connections, can you have these same feelings evoked in an exhibition context by an image that didn't come from anywhere personal to you?-- purely through colour, texture of movement, subject matter clich├ęs, can the artist create nostalgia in the mind of the viewer?

I have a lot to do and write, so will have to update this with more research to follow. I sometimes think it would be useful to write a concise essay each time I find a new artist's work to look at.

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