‘Resistance’ to be widespread at Venice Biennale

‘Resistance’ to be widespread at Venice Biennale

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Resistance’ to be widespread at Venice Biennale

In his work “Resistance,” artist Ali Kazma explores the discourses, techniques and management tactics developed for the body and focuses on their interventions.

Resistance” will be the name of the game for six months later this year when Turkey heads to the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, with Ali Kazma’s new video series of the same name.

In his work “Resistance,” Kazma explores the discourses, techniques and management tactics developed for the body today and focuses on the interventions and strategies that both release the body from its own restrictions and restrict it in order to control it. Curated by Emre Baykal, the Turkey’s pavilion will be located at the Artiglierie, Arsenale, in the main venue of the biennale, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 24.

The pavilion, which is being organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), was presented at a press conference on Feb. 25 at Salon İKSV. Kazma; Baykal; the general manager of İKSV, Görgün Taner; and the chief executive officer of TOFAŞ, Kamil Başaran, on behalf of Fiat, all attended the conference.

Providing detailed information on the conceptual framework for the pavilion and the project, Baykal said that as a multi-channel video installation, “Resistance” grew out of an earlier series, “Obstructions,” which the artist has produced since 2005.

With “Obstructions,” Kazma has carried out research into the tense equilibrium between order and chaos, and life and death, into the efforts of the human being to hold together a world inclined toward disintegration and destruction, and into the diversity of physical production developed to achieve this, together with what such production might mean in the context of human nature.

“Resistance” explores how the body is shaped today via scientific, cultural and social tools and how as a performance site it is repeatedly re-produced. In other words, the work conveys the productive activity of the body as a creative force directly onto the body itself; the producer and the produced, the shaper and the shaped this time unite in the materiality of the body.

Constructing and controlling the body

Kazma’s work “Jean Factory” from the “Obstructions” series was shown at the press conference to illustrate how “Resistance” relates to the previous works of the artist.

Kazma explained that the works in the “Resistance” series to be premiered in Venice record the processes that both construct and control the body and explore the human being’s struggle to break the social, cultural, physical and genetic codes of the human body in order to render it perfect, as well as the processes that transform the body into the conveyor of new symbols and meanings. The almost one-year-long filming process of the project was carried out in various parts of the world, in different settings and with different subjects. In “Resistance,” Kazma attempts to read the complex meanings and the enigma produced by the body as a physical and conceptual space from within a broad network of relations.

Among the various settings of “Resistance” are a film set in Paris, a prison in the northwestern Turkish province of Sakarya, a school and a hospital operating room in Istanbul, a university where robot production and experimental research is carried out in Berlin, a medical research laboratory in Lausanne, a tattoo studio in London and a theater hall in New York.

A book will also accompany the artist’s video installation. The book will be available at the launch of the pavilion with two separate editions in Turkish and English and will subsequently be sold in major bookstores.