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The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco presents Ali Kazma, whose practice centres on the media of photography and video, from December 16, 2022 to January 15, 2023.
The introduction of video and digital art into contemporary art is relatively new. They are both relatively new tendencies in contemporary art. As a result, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco has chosen to dedicate a new program to them, Winter Video Days.
The NMNM features Turkish artist Ali Kazma, whose practice focuses on photography and video, in this maiden edition organized by Guillaume de Sardes. His paintings address fundamental problems regarding the meaning of human actions. Whether in economics, industry, science, medicine, culture, or art, each of his videos explores the processes that occur in our civilizations, and collectively represent a large archive of the human experience. Kazma shoots and edits all of his own videos.
The exhibition comprises three videos:
Top Fuel (2020). Anita Mäkelä, a Finnish drag racer, is the subject of this fifteen-minute video. Kazma had to fly to California, Germany, and Sweden to attend the races. Ali Kazma, paradoxically, succeeds in immersing the audience in the extreme space-time of drag racing with the use of extended sequence shots. He demonstrates Anita Mäkelä and her team’s rigorous and patient preparation required to represent the lightning-fast pace of her races. Top Fuel transcends its subject in this way: rather than being a documentary about drag racing, it becomes a meditation on time and the pursuit of the ultimate.
A collection of images collected during the video’s production rounds off the video.
A House of Ink (2022) and Sentimental (2022). How can the character of the least cinematic activity of all—writing—be communicated? This was the challenge Ali Kazma faced when he agreed to film himself at home in his huge, vacant, and light-filled flat in Istanbul‘s Cihangir district, as proposed by his colleague Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ali Kazma uses three screens in the first movie, A House of Ink (2022), to show a sequence of details of the Turkish writer’s flat, his manuscripts, his library, brief moments of existence, and so on, as though this interior disclosed, however allusively, Pamuk’s inner world. As if it were not only the site of creation, but also the means of creation.
Sentimental (2022), a second video, this time projected, is the result of a quick discussion between the writer and the video artist following days of quiet shoots and verifies this impression. It depicts Pamuk signing stacks of books while simultaneously raising questions about two types of artists: the “naive” kind who traverses the globe in search of inspiration, and the “sentimental” type who, like Pamuk, requires the quiet and permanency of what can be called “his own chamber” to produce.
The exhibition is supported by a catalogue designed in collaboration with Éditions Empire. This book (135 x 225 mm; 128 p.) was designed in accordance with the novel’s characteristics, and it incorporates several distinguishing elements (format, headband) while providing a glimpse at the structure of the book itself, with an apparent binding that echoes Ali Kazma’s interest in the processes of production and creation. In addition to several pictures from his most recent and previous works, the book includes an introduction text by the young Turkish critic and curator Nilüfer aşmazer and an interview with the artist conducted by Guillaume de Sardes.
Born in 1971, Ali Kazma divides his time between Istanbul and Paris. He graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder and obtained his master’s degree from the New School University in New York. The artist, who represented Turkey at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, was given a monographic exhibition at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2017. Kazma’s most important solo exhibitions include Albergo Diurno Venezia (Milan, 2018), MUNTREF (Buenos Aires, 2018), Arter (Istanbul, 2015), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C., 2010), TANAS (Berlin, 2010) and Platform Garanti (Istanbul, 2004). His works are included in numerous institutional collections, such as CNAP (Paris), Istanbul Modern, MEP (Paris), MONA (Tasmania), Sztuki Museum (Lodz), Tate Modern (London), TBA21 (Vienna), Fondation Louis Vuitton collection (Paris) and the VKV Foundation collection (Istanbul)
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