30 December 2008

what time is it there?

What time is it there? is a single channel experimental video. I made use of several personal video images in order to create new sorts of meanings. In addition to this, by adding a performance section I attempted to reinforce the atmosphere tried to be created with the images. This video is partially an autobiographical work on remembering, waiting/expecting and leaving/going etc. Every image other than the performance has been selected from my own visual diaries and home movies, the moments that I recorded without any intervention at all. Most of the images I recorded until now are the documents of the moments I found highly meaningful and share more or less the same visual quality and content. When I decided to make What Time is it There? I had some feelings and themes in my mind. Just from the beginning I preferred to search for some visuals that would go with the feelings and themes in my mind. Therefore, by taking my video images as the basis, I listed images that seemed appropriate to me in a manner to constitute a structure that would contain above mentioned themes.

The video opens with an image of a woman in a forest, looking around. Following this image, we see some other images taking part until we see the same woman again sweeping dried leaves in the forest. The performance of sweeping the woods was considerably metaphorical, but at the same time material. I figured that when this image goes into play all through the video, themes such as leaving the city and remembering would be understood more clearly. Use of a fixed space kept watching and leap between the images together. Placing the end of this performance at the beginning of the film, I divided integrity of the act. Showing end of a linear act would give preliminary information on the next things to be seen. In this manner I would be able to keep the interest of the audience alive as well as to make her/him to ask questions on the meaning of the following image. Here, Marina Abromovich’s Balkan Baroque, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage and Sue Friedrich’s Sink or Swim with their depictions through several visual styles was considerably illuminating for me.
Marina Abramovich, in Balkan Baroque, represents separate pieces of performances which are highly minimal and existentialist. By re-performing basic actions of everyday life which are linked to each other, she creates a fragmented body of narration and represents critique of art, humanity and gender.
What Trinh T. Minh-ha did in her work Reassemblage was looking for answers to the questions what a document and a documentary is and how the presentation should be. However her particular method was narration. Minh-ha attempted to destroy the parts expected by the audience, namely beginning, middle and end. She also made use of repetitive sounds and cuttings, inserting black titles to create an experimental visual form and prevent the viewer to identify with the images. In this sense, she directed the viewer’s attention to the idea of representation and its meaning.
Yet in Sue Friedrich’s Sink or Swim with the narrator’s and even a story’s presence, almost all visuals are personal documents. The images correspond to the narrative by establishing slight connections. There we see the result, a narrative, experimental, personal film that explicitly questions what a personal document is and pushing the limits of the genre.

These experimental forms provided me essential references for this video. But I intended to eliminate the narrative and to enable the images themselves to create a unity: audience to be carried to a certain place by each single image - calling a feeling although cannot be expressed with the words and the story being capable of explaining itself. Therefore, I tried to approach the editing as the way that memory works. I took every image as a memory fragment that had duration and brought them together in the present. Moreover, I used slow motion and repetition effects to make the images correspond with the concepts of remembering and past. In this sense, I wanted the viewer to abandon her/his passive reception of the work and on the contrary think more on the meaning of each visual and its reflection on the whole structure.

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