Aesthetics of self-scaling: parallaxed transregionalism and Kutluğ Ataman's art practice

CAKIRLAR, C., 2013. Aesthetics of self-scaling: parallaxed transregionalism and Kutluğ Ataman's art practice. Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27 (6), pp. 684-706. ISSN 0256-0046

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Abstract

This article examines relations of ethnography, contemporary art-practice, globalisation and scalar geopolitics with particular reference to Kutluğ Ataman’s artworks. Having been shortlisted for the Turner Prize at the Tate and awarded the prestigious international Carnegie Prize in 2004 with his forty-screen video installation Küba (2004), Ataman became an extremely well-known, globally acclaimed artist and filmmaker. Self-conscious of their global travel and critically attentive to the contemporary ethnographic turn in the visual arts scene, Ataman’s video-works perform a conscientious failure of representing cultural alterity as indigeneity. Concentrating on the artist’s engagement with ethnography, this article contains three main parts. Analyses of the selection of videos in each part will give an account of different scalar aspects of Ataman’s artworks. It will first revisit a previous study (Çakirlar 2011) on the artist’s earlier work of video-portraits including Never My Soul! (2002) and Women Who Wear Wigs (1999). A detailed discussion of Küba follows, which may be taken as the ‘hinge - work’ in Ataman’s oeuvre that marks a scalar transition in his critical focus - from body and identity to community and geopolitics. The discussion will then move to a brief analysis of the series Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, including the screen-based sculptures Dome (2009), Column (2009), Frame (2009), English as a Second Language (2009), and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (2009). Rather than addressing scale as a differential concept, this article aims to demonstrate the ways in which Ataman’s art-practice produces self-scaling, self-regioning subjects that unsettle the hierarchical constructions of scale and facilitates a critique of the scalar normativity within the global art world’s regionalisms and internationalisms.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies
Creators: Cakirlar, C.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Date: 11 December 2013
Volume: 27
Number: 6
ISSN: 0256-0046
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/02560046.2013.867591DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:09
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1539

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