a self sufficient video | يتاذلا ءافتكلاا ويديف

posted by karakafa on 02-03 -2011

A SELF SUFFICIENT VIDEO | يتاذلا ءافتكلاا ويديف

Concept, Camera and Editing: Aras Ozgun and Yasmine Shash
Music Excerpts: Scanner, Sublime Frequencies, Rami Ayach

The video takes its title from a satirical monologue in Naguib Mahfouz’s “A Drift on the Nile”, in which the protagonist questions the logic of state-centric modernization policies built on the idea of economic self-sufficiency, which characterize the Egyptian political history and public life just as any other “developing country”. Using the “window” as a metaphor as well as a practical visual device, “A Self Sufficient Video” traces an iconography of Cairo’s everyday urban practice. It presents a cityscape as seen from the apartment windows; never ending construction sites scattered around the city, the sculpturesque satellite dishes on top of every building that contrast with the poverty that surrounds them through their high-tech reference, the colorful balconies and windows of unfinished building blocks of the urban poor—marking, affirming and denying their poverty altogether at the same time, and the layers of dust on the windows themselves—the only reference to the time that passes in the “city of sand” which got lost somewhere in the past on its way to a modern future. By framing these cityscapes with the windows, the camera asserts a visible distance between the inside—the private domain, and the outside—the public life. At a later moment, the camera overrides this distance, frames the movement of the city by becoming a part of it, through the windows of the car, passageways, or police boxes on the sidewalks, and goes back and forth on this line of tension between inside and outside. The resulting iconography of Cairo actually carries a “self sufficient political commentary” on the city’s public life itself.

download the QuickTime file (8:39 mins., 63 MB)

korlesme (blindness)

posted by karakafa on 12-11 -2009

by aras ozgun
6:30 mins, Hi8/Betacam, 1996

“This video is an interval between two women’s gazes. First shot is a dialogue between a woman and a man behind the camera that she looks into; “What do you see?” ”—I see you”, ”—My eyes?”, ”—Your face”, ”—All of it?” ”—Everything”, ”—Really?”, and the video gets cut off before her last word. The second gaze belongs to another woman, who paints her face by looking at her reflection on TV, by using the camera as a mirror. The two gazes confront, juxtapose and look into each other.

But, there is a bit more about this video. The first image is an accidental recording of a dialogue between me and Nur, which I discovered in a tape long after our troubled relation ended. Second shot belongs to Cagla, whom I started learning to play with video together in the early 90’s in Ankara. She recorded these images alone at home on a depressed day; she attached the camera to the TV set, sat in front of it and painted her face for hours by looking at her reflection on the screen. When she showed me the video next morning, we were both amazed with the power of images, but didn’t know what to do with the material at all. A few years later, after we separated and she moved to Istanbul, we met again and she sadly told me that there has been a theft at her apartment, her camera bag was stolen with all her tapes in it. I asked this footage, she said that tape was also gone. Two years later, I was looking for somethings in a pile of old VHS tapes, and found a copy of this footage, accidentally dubbed into VHS while copying some other stuff we shot together. The image was weary from dubbing and the passing time; the colors of the make up on her face faded away, the reflection of her eye on the screen on her iris was barely clear behind the dropouts, the overexposed picture was pulsating with the feedback of the light emitting from screen, bending, stretching, tearing. I was fascinated with the tape, I started playing with this ghostly image. I slowed it down to see every dropout, every pulse of the light, every frame of that eye looking at itself. In my own way, I made the video she didn’t have the chance to make.

This is a video about electronic dust sedimenting over layers of time.”
—Aras Ozgun, New York, 2009

download the QuickTime file (6:36 mins., 44 MB)

Bad Road Movie 2: Istanbul-Yerevan

posted by jaluki on 09-05 -2009

download the MPEG-4 Video file (1:46 mins., 4 MB)

Road Movie 1: Yerevan-Sevan or Homage to Grigor Khachatryan's Sexual Rays

posted by jaluki on 09-04 -2009

download the MPEG-4 Video file (1:15 mins., 9 MB)

Death to/and Photography

posted by jaluki on 12-05 -2008

Concept, Text and Voice-over: Angela Harutyunyan
Editing and Production: Aras Ozgun
Images provided by Tevž Logar
Music: Mirumir: “Beskonechnost’” and Brian Eno: “”The Lost Day”

correction – The work “This is Not My World” is dated to 1976, as opposed to 1978.

download the QuickTime file (13:19 mins., 64 MB)


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