Tuesday 5th December 2017

Vimeo Inspirations

More on Contemporary Art Film

Ahmet Öğüt

Ahmet Öğüt, born in 1981 in Diyarbakır, works across a variety of different media often picking up on an urban environment. With an eye for daily encounters and moments of improvisation his works address topics such as structural inequality, state suppression, censorship and forms of resistance. Singular acts of non alignment or collective struggles against militarized powers equally tend to inspire the aesthetic and thematic reflections that occur in Ahmet Öğüt’s work just as the way he operates in the institutional ecology surrounding his practice. He had solo shows among others at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2015), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015), Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2012), Kunsthalle Lissabon (2011) and SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul (2011). He has participated in group shows such as the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), Manifesta 11 (2016), “Museum On/OFF” at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016), the 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015), “Political Populism” at Kunsthalle Wien, the Kyiv Biennial (2015) and many more.

Ming Wong

Questions of identity and gender, as well as the queer politics of representation, are at the core of Ming Wong’s filmic practice. Wong often reworks scenes drawn from world cinema classics – from directors Fassbinder to Pasolini to Polanski to Wong Kar-wai – frequently ‘miscasting’ himself in multiple roles irrespective of language, gender, ethnicity, nationality or historical period. For his contribution to the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 he paid tribute to the ‘forgotten’ history of Singapore cinema – a multi-ethnic film heritage infused with elements from Europe, America and South East Asia – in order to explore the notions and potentialities of what a ‘national’ cinema could be.


Samuel Beckett (again)

After advice from Emrys I looked again at Samuel Beckett and the characters Molloy, Malone and Murphy – and my conclusion from this is that given that I am not a natural comedian – it is difficult for me to bring together an absurd, humorous slant to the video piece I am preparing.

The Trilogy, comprising of Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable, is the completion and elaboration of earlier work. Beckett’s 1931 study of Proust, named Proust brought to bear a degree of influence on his thinking which manifested itself in the The Trilogy. One of the most important elements of this 1931 discussion showed Beckett’s concern over the disintegrating relationship between subject and object. [1]

Significant that Proustian philosophy is, it is not the sole influence on Beckett’s Trilogy . In 1930, Beckett suffered a depressive episode which was to dominate his life and colour his work. In seeking treatment for this condition, Beckett encountered another who was to exercise some power over his work. A lecture given by C. J. Jung in London in the early 1930’s gave credence to Beckett’s own unease in himself. [2] The lecture posited the notion that the human is never really born; this idea proved to captivate Beckett and resolve the crisis he felt.

The death of his parents, particularly his mother rocked Beckett’s world to its foundations. In life they had experienced a troubled relationship, but with her passing any confidence Beckett had in his knowledge of the world was shattered. The first of The Trilogy, Molloy is (among other things) a working out of this difficult relation between mother and son.

Plagued by a depressive condition, left on the unsteady ground of his own uncertainties, Beckett came to believe in an utterly black, utterly futile existence. Disturbing that such a belief is to countenance, it was the sole thought that he had any confidence in. This deeply prejudiced view is manifest in varying degrees in the triumvirate that is The Trilogy. Plagued by his own personal demons, The Trilogy is an exercise in withdrawal. The author seeks to reduce expression to communicate his bleak view of the world. The art of nothingness that he mastered successfully draws the reader into seeing that what we do, what we say is ultimately ineffectual. His work is at times scathing, at times absurd but strives to illuminate the illusions that we – the human race – hide under, rather than face what Beckett sees as the awful truth.

“In Beckett’s world the cardinal sin is hope” writes one commentator, and reading The Trilogy, the conclusion drawn is strange and unsettling. [3] The language, the syntax and the ideas conveyed by them occupies an alien place where most of us have never visited (nor would want to). In his efforts to escape the illusions that we live under, the need to think, the need to communicate, the need to comprehend everything around us, Beckett came to frightening conviction that this was beyond our faculties.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s