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Erkan Özgen

Purple Muslin

Erkan Özgen

Purple Muslin

Year: 2018

Duration: 16 min 28 

Single-channel, HD video projection, colour, sound, in Kurdish with English subtitles 

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation

BIOGRAPHY
Born 1971, Turkey
Works in Turkey 

VIDEO EXHIBITED AT (selection)

Loop 2018 : 

Giving Voices

13.11.2018 – 24.02.2019

Loop 2018 / Antoni Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona

Carrer d'Aragó, 255, 08007, Barcelona

www.fundaciotapies.org

https://loop-barcelona.com/

Erkan Özgen : Manifesta 12
16.06.2018 – 04.11.2018
Manifesta 12 Palermo
Via Teatro Garibaldi 46/56, 90133 Palermo
http://m12.manifesta.org/

The film Purple Muslin is a touching contemporary portrait created in collaboration with Yazidi women who escaped the menace of ISIS forces and sought refuge in Northern Iraq. Erkan Özgen’s project explores the impact of war on the female refugees who fled the conflict zones. The video is an inquiry into the ways in which these women cope with their traumas in an environment full of violence. 

The artist intends to give them a voice to tell their individual stories and their shared experiences of war, of suffering and displacement. The real force, nonetheless, is the power of “Awakening” (a stirring and often direct document), and its incredible capacity to reveal a vision that can be shared.

In the current political and social context, it is fundamental not only to show this work, but also to contextualize the reflections and vital questions that are raised in Erkan Özgen’s films. A public program of talks with experts from different backgrounds will contribute to gaining a deeper understanding of the topics that are touched on in the film.

Erkan Özgen lives and works in Diyarbakır (1971, Mardin, Turkey). He graduated from Çukurova University Painting Department in 2000. He works on video based installations and has participated in group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. Most of his recent films deal with migration and human rights. 

Erkan Özgen

Aesthetics of Weapons

Erkan Özgen

Aesthetics of Weapons

Year: 2018

Duration: 4 min 50

Single-channel HD video projection, color, sound 

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation

States can wage violence in the name of security, punishment, and even freedom. Yet those who behold the weapons, i.e. police, military and paramilitary forces, act as the mediators of violence. They control the fate brought upon by the weapon, so their functioning requires that the violence legitimized by the government trickle down to the individual. How does the beholder of the gun legitimized using it? Perhaps if we repeat the following questions we could get a semblance of an answer: Who is the subject of the gun? And who is the object?

 

When weapons are used, violence grows exponentially. Thus, weapons are quite literally the means to an end. The shooter is the subject of the gun and the victim is the object. In Aesthetics of Weapons, Erkan Özgen films a state-sanctioned subject of the weapon: a police officer. However, the artist blurs the subject-object relationship by the anonymous protagonist’s account of his gun. The video begins with a narrated personification of the gun attracting the gaze of the viewer, which in effect dually objectifies and subjectifies the gun. Thereon, the work moves through the intimacy of the protagonist and his gun, giving us an insight into this destructive relationship and representing a scenario of legitimization.