| FEATURES 01 |
BANU CENNETOĞLU INTERVIEWED BY ALEXANDER MASSOURAS
The Istanbul-based artist discusses the politics of memory, the importance of visibility and the impossibility of representation.
The List 2011 MÜnchensteinerstrasse,
Alexander Massouras: Your new work is an epic 128 hours and 22 minutes long with 13 titles. It comprises all the stills, video documents and files, personal and professional, that you have collected and captured and not deleted over a ten-year period, presented in chronological order by date created.
Banu Cennetoğlu: Yes, everything over a period of 12 years – to be precise, 10 June 2006 to 21 March 2018 – at least everything digitised on electronic devices, so there is no analogue material. Some of the images were analogue some time ago, but they were scanned in 2006 for another purpose. I made quite a large work for the pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale in 2007, Catalog – almost a polite version of this work – which was a 1,000-page catalogue of images from my archive, but very controlled and edited. Basically it was mimicking a mail-order catalogue, but it was performative physically – it was a heavy catalogue of sof paper, like a department store catalogue, dealing with the politics of memory and collections, and the way they get disseminated.
This new work sounds like a departure to the extent that it is highly personal.
This is the first time that I have done such a work, which comes directly with no filtration or editing. Since deciding to do it I of course keep thinking: why am I doing it? There was this very strong need to do this.
When did you feel this need?
I can only try to describe: in autumn last year, which was a dif icult time for me, I was thinking a lot about death, for personal reasons, and also because of the fact that I had been working for many years with The List, which documents the deaths of asylum seekers, and which I was editing a version of for the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. Then there was the death of my mother in July. I had spent so many years trying to understand, or talk, on behalf of the silenced and deceased, while bearing in mind the impossibility of doing that. So I started to think that the only interesting thing in this ef ort is the awareness of this impossibility. Whatever you do, it will never be right, because it cannot be right. We are here and they are there. So there is no comprehensive way of representing them, and there can’t be.
JUL-AUG 18 | ART MONTHLY | 418
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