What would have happened if the documentation of these sessions were supposed to be seen by others? What could be the images one could imagine from 8 days of performing behind closed doors? In collaboration with a Rotterdam-based artist Cem Altınöz, I asked him to create a video work in the same direction as his anti-portraiture practice. The violence, confusion, and multiple layers of images that were later mixed with the transcripts of some of the dialogues of these sessions, created a new reality for the images of these sessions. The video installation, in an ab-normal way, showcased some of the processes and it was installed inside the vitrine space of the front facade of the Goethe Institute building in Westersingel in the center of Rotterdam.
This work includes three single-channel videos of different lengths and tempos. The first one is over two hours and a half, and it is Cem’s interpretation of these videos and what he could make up of the research process. He was free to give shape to this certain imagery that reproduces oppression or liberation for him in an abstract way. This video can be seen as a meeting place for the violence of an outside gaze on the presence of the performers. The second, a one-hour selection from 40 hours of transcripts, creates a new narrative by juxtaposing visuals and oral materials. On the right side of this installation, there was a one-channel video of 3 hours, that consisted of documentation from my GoPro camera that recorded some of the exercises of both groups. Objects symbolizing oppression brought by participants are also part of the installation.
The installation remained continuously active for a month, welcoming public engagement.
Located on Westersingel, one of Rotterdam’s busiest streets, the work had a high visibility rate, with around 40 people passing by each minute. However, only a small fraction, perhaps one or two individuals per hour, stopped to explore the installation. Over a day, this translated to approximately 20 to 30 visitors. Over a month, it’s estimated that 600 to 900 people engaged with the work. This exposure wouldn’t have been achievable if the multimedia installation were housed within a building.