By Other Means

16, Apr, 2010 (Fri) – 14, Apr, 2010 (Sat) 14:00

Art Hall(B1)

By Other Means

By other means
A selection of art video works that use animation and puppetry to explore political, authoritarian and social issues.

Screening List
Al Aqsa Park [Wael Shawky│2006│10’00”]
Two Days to Apocolypse [Basim Magdy│2003│5’00”]
Dog Luv [Ciprian Muresan│2009│30’00”]
Rocks Ahead [Yochai Avrahami│2008│8’00”]
Light Armoured [Ahmet Ogut│2006│1’00”]
Shadows of Dust [Fahrettin Orenli│2007│4’00”]
Exemplary [Canan Senol│2009│27’00”]

Wael Shawky
Al Aqsa Park, 2006

Shawky tackles uncomfortable issues. His most recent work deals with the dichotomies and contradictions of social norms, primarily relating to culture and religion. In Al Aqsa Park a digital rendering of the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the most holy sites in Islam after Mecca and Medina, sets it spinning on its central axis like a waltzer ride at a fun-fair. Shawky says he was always afraid of this ride as the participants surrender their safety and position to the ride’s attendent and ultimately to the ride itself. The willingness to let go, Shawky has suggested, in a way mirrors religious belief, particularly in terms of the lack of individual control that can be asserted in either case.

Basim Magdy
Two Days to Apocalypse, 2003

Magdy is particularly interested in exploring the space between fiction and reality in representations of power in the media and global culture. Magdy’s Two Days to Apocalypse depicts a fabricated world that has turned awry. In this nonsensical space, categories of good, evil, right and wrong appear simplistic, and the value judgment imbedded in the rhetoric of mass media is exposed. By using the language of animation conventionally associated with child entertainment, portrayals of violence are both masked and neutralised, echoing the de-sensitising effect of media repetition.

Ciprian Muresan
Dog Luv, 2009

Dog Luv is based on a dramatic text about humanity’s horrific appetite for torture, interrogation, and execution by Saviana Stânescu and is played out by five beautifully hand-crafted puppets of dogs. Maddog, the leader and teacher of the pack, encourages his students to recite the names of various forms of torture practiced throughout history. They do so willingly, rapidly firing off a list that includes stoning, crucifixion, genocide, and water-boarding. He goes on to specify that “the backwards spelling of DOG as GOD is not completely arbitrary.” But it does not take long before his disciples have turned upon him and the play becomes one about the act of torture rather than its theory.

Yochai Avrahami
Rocks Ahead, 2008

In his work Avrahami attempts to portray the current chaotic situation in Israel/Palestine. He does this through the construction of replicas of man-made machines presented as sculptures in distorted environments, or crafted kinetic beings that participate in his videos. These models are made of materials such as cardboard, epoxy, and polyurethane that are, by their very nature, weak and frugal. Avrahami highlights their unconstitutional behaviour to define the present and future of this society.

Ahmet Ögüt
Light Armoured, 2006

Ögüt’s short, looped animation Light Armoured shows a camouflaged Land Rover being hit by insignificantly small stones that one by one bounce straight off, a comic gesture that was deemed to be provocative and critical of the Turkish Military. His subtle references to complex topics including religion, social and rural customs and the spectre of war in this region are offset by an edge of humour.

Fahrettin Orenli
Shadows of Dust, 2007

Örenli’s work refers to the problematic issues he perceives to proliferate between competing countries of the world, how these structure society and by extension what new forms of architecture can house future urban societies. The Iraq war is the subject of the animation Shadows of Dust. Two figures representing Indonesian shadow puppets pull apart a one hundred dollar US banknote, which slowly morphs into an outline of the Iraqi border. As this is happening, the subtitles and voice over make statements about American greed for oil and money, referencing conspiracy theories surrounding the political rivalry for control of Middle Eastern oil reserves. The torn map is a metaphor for the destruction of war and civilian casualties that have severed the country as it has fallen prey to political betrayal by the supposed foreign saviours.

Exemplary, 2009

In CANAN’s recent film work Exemplary tropes of miniature painting are used to stage an animated narrative in eight chapters. The story is fashioned like that of a fairytale fable and tells of a beautiful daughter from a poor family living in the southeastern region of Turkey. She is forced to marry a man of her mother’s choice and this is the beginning of her conditioning by social beliefs and traditions. Every time the mother desires that her daughter take the most socially accepted path, she tells her another story of what bad outcomes could ensue if she does not listen. The poor girl leads a confused life in which she shifts her beliefs to suit the systems surrounding her. Ultimately her downfall is not because she did not listen to her mother, but because she did not choose to act for herself.

November Paynter
November Paynter is Director of the Artist Pension Trust, Dubai and an independent curator based in Istanbul. She has held the positions of Curator at Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Assistant Curator of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial and Consultant Curator at Tate Modern for the exhibition Global Cities. Independent curatorial projects include As the Land Expands at Al Riwaq Art Space, Bahrain (2010), The Columns Held Us Up at Artists Space, New York with Vasif Kortun (2009) and New Ends Old Beginnings at the Bluecoat and Open Eye galleries in Liverpool (2008). Paynter often writes for art periodicals including Artforum, Bidoun and Artasispasific, as well as for artist and exhibition publications.


16, Apr, 2010 (Fri) – 14, Apr, 2010 (Sat) 14:00
Art Hall(B1)