29 Eki 2012

şekli belirleyen hakikatten hakikati belirleyen şekle

Opening/panel: 10.11.2012 Cmt., 
16:30 a discussion with urban sociologist Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi (Tehran) 
and journalist Ayşe Çavdar (Istanbul)
the shape of truth changes and shapes the truth is Sandra Schäfer’s first solo exhibition in Turkey with contributions by Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan and Istanbul based artist Sevgi Ortaç. The exhibition is designed around the two-channel-video installation on the set of 1978ff (2011), in which Schäfer addresses two questions: first, how did the 1978 revolution in Iran lead to the foundation of an Islamic Republic? And second, why did so many people with different political convictions from different factions support this?

The artist’s work explores the Iranian Revolution not as a purely national event, but through the larger framework of its interconnections, echoes and reception in neighboring countries, the Middle East and the global North. She reconstructs the Iranian Revolution through examples and fragments, including various urban phenomena and representations of the Revolution in film, television and photography. From a media production and reception perspective, Schäfer and her interlocutors in the film construct a re-reading of the events of 1978. The film focuses on the processes of the circulation of images and information and on the translation of events into different contexts.

Sandra Schäfer’s new video turning inward | trading out looks at the effects of the Iranian Revolution on Turkey, as well as at the present role of political Islam in Turkey. The video focuses on one urban site: the Iranian Mosque located inside the Ottoman Valide Han caravanserai (inn) in Istanbul’s Fatih district. In her video work Schäfer follows different traces. These can be a search for documents from the past in the present, spatial narratives, individual testimonies or a journalistic reflection. In her video Schäfer interweaves this heterogeneous material to an overall filmic narrative that remains in itself fragmentary. The title turning inward | trading out thus refers to the overlapping of the outward bound trade in the Fatih district, and the enclosed space of the Iranian mosque, located in the courtyard of the old caravanserai. The video was made in collaboration with the Istanbul based journalist Ayşe Çavdar.

A selection of photographs from Schäfer’s ongoing series Urban settings and other kinds too highlights some of the spatial narratives of the Islamic gated communities within the complex of Başakşehir; a recently developed neighborhood with residence complexes - the new and expanding Islamic middle class. These photographs also hint at the new video that Schäfer currently works on. 

In dialogue with her own work Schäfer invited the Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan and the Istanbul artist Sevgi Ortaç to participate in the exhibition. A selection of photographs by the Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan is featured in the exhibition. Golestan took these photographs during the revolution (1978/79) in Tehran. She captures on the margins of the mass protests, as well as the scenes of the private sphere. She also photographed the first protest against the emerging regime: the women’s demonstration against the imposition of the headscarf and further sanctions in March 1979.

The video Missing the Place (2011) by Sevgi Ortaç opens with the reenactment of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople during the annual celebrations. The screen split into pieces plaits the spatial narratives and imagery proposed by the language of this reenactment. 

Sandra Schäfer worked on both video installations during her Berlin Senate residency in Istanbul in 2011. The video installation on the set of 1978ff is a production of mazefilm and was realized for the exhibition the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers (www.globalprayers.info) in Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst in Berlin (2011), and for Camera Austria in Graz (2012). The installation was also co-produced for the exhibition Demonstrations: Making Normative Orders at Frankfurter Kunstverein. The video installation turning inward | trading out was co-produced by Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (2012). 

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