My Highlights from Moving Image Istanbul 2014
The three works I selected from the Moving Image Istanbul submissions involve like themes and ideas: identity, home, environment, nature, change, transition, transformation, instability, and ultimately destruction. These elaborate and delicate concepts are skillfully woven into one another, in layers. Overall, all three reflect on this world we occupy and emphasize on how “existing” has morphed into a peculiar, almost obtuse phase; where each and everyday we find ourselves in the need of confirming who we are, where, how, and why we attest to being part of this outrageous world.
Nancy Atakan’s satirical piece Backwards Migration has a wonderful Dada-esque approach. As Hugo Ball once said, “Every word that is spoken and sung here represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.” Indeed, Atakan’s immersive dialogue captures the world’s humiliating and alienating set of rules most eloquently in a ludicrous setting. Despite the irony and pessimistic tone, there is a visible coating of hope and rejoice—no matter how absurd and entangled our lives have become, reciting and sharing history is vital as well as significant in sustaining one’s own identity.
This is the story of the town Benidorm, Spain, and how it feeds on the “sun.” Rob Carter’s dense and environmentally conscious piece explores the drastic changes the town has gone through over the past 50 years. Before the 1960s, Benidorm was a small fish village yet today has turned into a tourist-oriented economy with a grand hotel industry, beaches, and skyscrapers. Sheltered by the mighty Puig Campana mountain, Benidorm benefits from an extraordinary sun-rich microclimate. Carter’s beautiful video made with stop-motion technique conveys this rather upsetting and extreme transformation with staccato imagery from the past into the present of the contorted cityscape; even though the sun prevails as the superstar of this location, the land on the contrary, has been exhausted. Carter diverts the transformation into a final stage, constructing a city that harnesses the sun where energy supersedes the human-made environment.
Chris Doyle’s stunning hand-drawn digital animation, inspired by 19th century Hudson River painter Thomas Cole, presents a complex view on the relationship between consumption and nature. Cole was mostly interested in landscape and wilderness. Doyle’s take on today’s landscape however, reveals that as we live in a constant-increasingly technology-dependent environment, we have finally become a waste generation. Doyle’s imagination and choices reveal the bitter destruction that we call upon ourselves where the natural land and the wild have become scarce. It is said that “haste makes waste” but junk of no value proves to be the real waste!