Ferhat Özgür: Let Everybody Come Out Today
SUNDBYBERG • Marabouparken • 9 February - 7 April 2013
|In 2002 Turkish artist Ferhat Özgür asked the neighbours in the street where he grew up to pose for a group photo. Having moved from the countryside to Ankara, they had built their homes on the outskirts of the city. Now, their part of town was due for bulldozing. In the diptych Let Everybody Come Out Today the neighbours stare grimly at the camera, marked by life. It is a key work in Özgür's oeuvre; for years he has been critically following the changes taking place in Ankara where informal settlements are torn down and replaced by a growing number of skyscrapers and shopping malls. |
Without falling into nostalgia, Özgür portrays in a series of photographs and video works, the challenges facing the individual in a country where the lines between Islam and Christianity, Turkish traditions and Western influences are constantly renegotiated.
The videos Metamorphosis Chat (2010) and the more recent Women in Love (2013) both cite the narrative frame of Turkish soap operas. The actors in Özgür's films are often acquaintances and relatives. Together they seek images and gestures to visually express the difficulties facing women living in a patriarchal society and in a present that is constantly producing new realities and questioning traditional ideas about what constitutes a successful life.
In Women in Love (2013) a group of widows reminisce about their lives with their husbands. The conversation moves from painful descriptions of domestic violence, alcohol abuse and the women's vulnerability and isolation as child brides, to absurd anecdotes and laughter. These women are testimony to a life lived seen through the transformation of the city and society as a whole.
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