photo: Dahahm Choi
Traversing photography, sculpture, video, and installation, Kurdish interdisciplinary artist Ahmet Öğüt’s practice often deploys humor to reflect upon socio-political objectives. He frequently mobilizes public space in his work to extrapolate from –– and to enhance –– the performativity of the quotidian. In doing so, Öğüt further blurs the line between public and private space, creating a thematic response to the ethics of social monitoring and the surveillance state. History Otherwise: Ottoman Socialist Hilmi and Ottoman Women’s Rights Defender, a sidewalk visual commissioned as part of the Timișoara, Romania, Art Encounters Biennial, drew controversy for acting as a reminder of the buried socialist and feminist legacies of the once-Ottoman city. Deliberately rendering both figures within a traditionally Ottoman-style interior living room, the work peels back the shroud obscuring both movements, making them available for long-denied public appreciation.
The Berlin-and-Amsterdam based artist has exhibited widely –– along with Banu Cennetoglu, he co-represented Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. His latest exhibition, no poem loves its poet, was set to open at Azerbaijan’s YARAT Contemporary Art Space on March 18th, but it, like many shows this season, was installed then sequestered in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown. With so many working from home, and in desperate need of visual inspiration, Öğüt began sharing some of his favorite artworks made on Instagram. What the pieces selected share, in contrast to the public milieu occupied by much of his work, is that they (like so much else in the last weeks) were made entirely at home. In the hopes addressing our collective Netflix burnout, 032c asked him to zero in on artist’s videos; spanning the last five decades, the works selected below were all created in the domestic sphere.