Tinica, 2004
video still, color, sound, 7'32"

Goal, 2009
video still, color, sound, 4'

Fikret Atay

curated by Gabi Scardi

3 June - 10 September 2010

Viafarini DOCVA is pleased to present Turkish artist Fikret Atay solo show. Atay’s films can be considered as poetic fragments, low tech and essential synthesis of significance and everyday life, yet able to depict the remote world of the city of Batman, artist’s place of birth, located in the south-est region of Anatolia, Turkey, close to Iraq.
Atay starts his research from the Kurdish traditions, narrating the context of the place where he works and lives in a very simple way. He highlights the points of intersection between the local reality and the ongoing change that take place in the entire country, and even beyond, from a global point of view. His artworks have a deeply metaphoric connotation: starting from extremely circumstantial situations, he points out questions and problems shared by the whole world.
In many cases the episodes comprise a certain amount of imponderability. There is a tension between the collective requests and the longing for self-identification, as well as between the subjective dimension and the overwhelming pressure to conform. By virtue of its radical simplicity Atay’s language plays an antirethorical and demystifying role: for instance some of his works deals with the risk of intellectual conformism inherent in the degeneration of the team spirit.

Viafarini presents a series of video works: Tinica, Gooaall!! and Any Time Prime Time.

Tinica: a guy improvises a jam session playing a drum realized with plastic bags, rusty metal bins and lids on the top of a mountain, nearby the city center. The guy is totally absorbed by the rythm, the drum pulsates while sun shines on the old wrecks. Suddenly the guy stops to play, wakes up, kicks the bins that start to roll along the hill, underlying the intensity of this single instant.

Gooaall!!: a group of guys play barefoot soccer on a desolation road: an old man starts playing with them, preparing himself for the match, the camera rotates, and then films the goal; the old man scores a goal whose meaning is hard to understand for us: maybe it’s just a score in the hard battle between the center and the outskirts.

Any Time Prime Time represents a confusing scene shot during a traditional feast that takes places once a year in the region of Batman, Turkey, by the Iraqi border. It stages a well know popular tale, mimed by the local population. As in his preceding videos, the artist’s primary strategy consists in encoding the reality, rather than in trying to reveal it in a straightforward transparent way. The combination of an intriguing backdrop - hills in the South-East of Anatolia - and the nature of the action - a folkloric scene - are mysterious at first; but the contents of the tale become clear soon enough. As implied by the title of the video, Any Time Prime Time, neither the time nor space in which this scene is happening interferes on the spectacle.

On this occasion the artist will present the brand new artwork the country for old man! The photograph is introduced by the artist with the words of his grandfather: “My grandfather said: I have no birth report. I was not in the army. My father did not allow me because my two brother never came back from military. That is why I have no any identity. According to the system I did not exsist. I am not alive. My children are not registered with me. My longest trip was from my village to Batman. But I am quite happy. Because I am here. I know all these hills and valleys inside out. I shephered. I used to go a hunting and hunt partridge. The system does not see me but you do. Nice to meet you!”.

Fikret Atay was born in 1976 in Batman, Turkey. He took a degree in Visual Arts at Dicli University in Diyarbakir, he currently lives and works between Paris and Batman. Despite his youth Atay has already had exhibitions of his works in several prestigious institutional art spaces such as: Wien Kunsthalle, la Maison de l’Architecture in Paris; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo di León, Spain; the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; the SFMOMA in San Francisco and Tate Modern, London, as well as on the occasion of Lyon and Istanbul Biennals.

With the contribution of Fondazione Cariplo and Gemmo spa


last update 12-10-2011