This art review by Richard Dorment was posted on the telegraph.co.uk of Istanbul’s most famous contemporary artist Kutlug Ataman’s first big exhibition in Turkey. Kutlug Ataman is the Turner Prize-nominated artist whose recent film installation is called “fff” (family found footage), composed of 6mm and Super 8mm hand-held camera films from the 1950s and 1960s, borrowed from two English families, accompanied by two separate music scores which play at the same time creating a kind of chaos.
Kutlug Ataman, although from Turkey, describes himself as a global artist. He now lives in the U.K. where he feels “It’s not so Turkish-specific any more. I have dealt with it as much as I can. I’m more excited to be in Britain and to be part of a more global culture.”
As Istanbul’s year as the cultural capital of Europe will draw to a close, the Istanbul2010 Culture website will continue to concentrate of the cultural works and art of Istanbul, one of the most fascinating cities of the world.Kutlug Ataman, Istanbul Modern, review
“A new show by Kutlug Ataman is worth flying thousands of miles to see, says Richard Dorment .
Although based in Britain, Kutlug Ataman is Turkey’s best-known contemporary artist. He’s also one of the few artists of any nationality whose work I’d travel anywhere in the world to see. So when the invitation to attend the opening of his first major exhibition inside Turkey arrived, I didn’t have to think twice before accepting.
I was familiar with pieces shown at the Venice Biennale, the Serpentine Gallery, and Tate Britain’s Turner Prize exhibition in 2004, but to see his funny, shocking, and compassionate video installations in Istanbul was a very different experience from seeing them in London. The show transformed my understanding of his art.
At the entrance to his retrospective at Istanbul Modern, “The Enemy Inside Me”, visitors are confronted with a work from 2007 entitled Turkish Delight. Here in Europe, the giant single-screen video might be mistaken for a light-hearted jeu d’esprit. But against a Turkish backdrop it is so toe-curlingly, excruciatingly embarrassing that it was almost unbearable to watch. In it, Ataman films himself performing a lumbering belly dance while scantily clad in a gold-sequined costume and wearing a woman’s wig.”