Try This At Home: Video Night with AHMET ÖĞÜT

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. 

Ahmet Öğüt, History Otherwise: Ottoman Socialist Hilmi and Ottoman Women’s Rights Defender Nuriye, 2019, illusionistic painting on Mărășești street, Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara, 2019. Photo: Vlad Cândea

1. Nina Yuen, White Blindness, 2009

2. Kuang-Yu Tsui, Eighteen Copper Guardians in Shou-Lin Temple and Penetration, 2001

3. Ana Husman, Lunch, 2008

4. Erkka Nissinen, Videos Without Ideas, 2014

5. Flo Kasearu, Uprising, 2015

6. Koki Tanaka, Everything is Everything, 2006

7. Hale Tenger, Beyrut, 2005-2007

8. Zelimir Zilnik, Black Film, 1971

9. Nevin Aladag, Famile Tezcan, 2001

10. Servet Kocyigit, To Die For, 2003

11. Martha Rosler, Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975

12. Ziad Antar, Wa, 2004

13. Richard Wilson, Turning the Place Over, 2007

14. Bas Jan Ader, Fall 1, 1970

15. Harun Farocki, Bedtime Stories, 1977

16. Constant Dullaart, DVD  Screensaver Performances, 2009-2011

17. John Baldessari, Teaching a Plant the Alphabet, 1972

18. Organized by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, Womanhouse, 1972

19. Ulay, There is a Criminal Touch to Art, 1976


20. Roman Signer, Bett, 1996

21. Cory Arcangel, Drei Klavierstücke op. 11, 2009

22. Shana Moulton, The Mountain Where Everything is Upside Down, 2008

Follow @ahmet__ogut


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