Video Art Channel: Barikat by Mirkan Deniz (2017)

Friday, June 15 from 6pm – 8pm
Saturday, Juni 16 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
during the Video Art Channel

Barikat (Mirkan Deniz 2017, 13 min, Film/HD)

The Film «Barikat» (engl. barricade) shows a performance by artist Mirkan Deniz inspired by the daily life of Kurds who have been living under curfews for more than a year in several regions of Turkey. Many people were deliberately murdered, including women and children, when Turkish military blocked the streets or bombed cities. People started to build barricades to protect themselves, or to hide in bunkers. There are many stories about these experiences – the film recalls one of them. In the city of Cizre, 60 injured people were locked in in a bunker. When a young woman started to help them, her mother got afraid that the military might catch her. In such cases, families can’t even get back the corpses, because it is forbidden. The mother didn’t want to experience such a thing and said: «My daughter, I hope you won’t come out of this bunker alive.»

Barikat: Filmstill Rita Pereyra

The sound of the video: Characteristic is that each single sound of this video echoes in the empty hall: reverberation of grave wooden and clattering metal objects on concrete floor. Almost a motif: the metal ladder dragged along or clanging down. Also an underlying sound of soft drizzling (is it technical – a machine between on and off; or natural – the rain?); the movement of sounds coming closer, directed towards the center; and again and again a loud, shocking bang, clatter, clang. The quietness in between is all the more telling. During the last part the spraying, hissing sound of a spray bottle. (perceived and described by: Antke Engel, Jule Gießler, and Anna Letsiou, with the help of Corinna Brenner/Yomma)

Mirkan Deniz lives in Zürich and works with sculptures, videos and installations. Her conceptual works are often quotations and reconstructions (e.g. of a military vehicle, a barricade, a table that had served to sign a historical contract). She is particularly interested in the tension, which arises between the material and immaterial effects (traumas, unspeakable experiences, and memories). How can an object (a sculpture) maintain this tension and question the relationship between the past, violence and subjectivity?