With a strict process of formal image composition using energetic, bold editing that mixes and blends graphic elements with images, the work od Ethem Özgüven, featured in this 11th edition of FF>Dossier, requires a fresh outlook in order to be understood. Özgüven usually combines typical formal elements of video art and sophisticated video design resources, but instead of celebrating sparse images and fast-paced texts, Ethem presents us with images that are highly committed and involved with the current political framework, creating new visualities that combine language experimentation and activism Özgüven`s videos seem to push the boundaries of assumed genres and formats, and therefore require a free perspective so that we can pick upo n critical and subjective contents in images and symbols commonly features in advertising.
Perhaps this connection with advertising language came from his “social spots” produced at the Beykent University (Istanbul), or from the international Video Production Workshops that he promoted along with Petra Holzer and Walter Pucher from 1990 until 2002, gathering over 200 participants from more than 20 countries. These productions borrowed from advertising and video clip language, and violence against women and children, among others.
Other pieces, such as the video F/F (2004), feature mind-boggling juxtaposition of graphics, texts, statistical data, and information regarding violence against women. Text is set against images which become more than, just art direction interventions; these elements yield unique informational framework, as if Ethem were calling our attention to the countless messages that we inadvertently soak in every day.
This resources is also featured in other pieces, such as the trilogy AMN (All my nightmares), LIG (Life in general), and LID (Life in detail), all from 2001, and all of which comprise the installation entitled Nightmares. In these pieces, energetic editing and image processing multiplies the meaning implied by the artist, especially, when coupled with a wealth of graphics and text of the Videobrasil International generating self-repeating cycles, in a whirlwind-like editing work.
The nearness of the text and image and of moving graphics and image seems to have led Ethem closer to written poetry, wether in his appropriation of work by Turkish poet Ilhan Berk, born in Manisa, 1918, in the GURE Aegean video (2004), or in Erol Akyavas (2000), featuring screenplay by the director himself, in a video where he weaves voice, subtitling, and images together to create a delicate visual poem.
It is with great pleasure that we bring to ypou in this 11th edition of FF > Dossier the work of Ethem Özgüven, whose videos reveal some of the most intriguing paths of electronic art, and further the interchance of Associação Cultural Videobrasil in the southern art circuit.
Further info on this artist available at the collection