Kutluğ Ataman with Curator Cristiana Perrella, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2009
Strange Space, Video projection from digital video loop
The artist is filmed while crossing a sulphurous desert land with bare feet and blind-folded eyes. A vision inspired by folk tales typical of Mesoptamia in which the hero, blinded by the love of the heroine, is condemned to wander in the desert trying to find her, and eventually burst into flames when they finally meet. The narrative is used as a metaphor of the encounter of modernity and tradition, of their reciprocal attraction and the trauma it may cause.
Kutluğ Ataman is an acclaimed filmmaker and artist. Ataman’s works primarily document the lives of marginalised individuals, examining the ways people create and rewrite their identities through self-expression, blurring the line between reality and fiction. In 2009 Mesopotamian Dramaturgies – a multielement project which includes Strange Space was exhibited at Lentos Museum as part of Linz European Capital of Culture 2009. His work has been shown at Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2009) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009/10). Kutluğ Ataman shows with Francesca Minini.
Born in 1965, Cristiana Perrella was curator of the Contemporary Arts Program at the British School at Rome for ten years until 2008. In 2007 she was the founding curator of SACS, a Regional Agency for Contemporary Art in Sicily. She has published two survey books on the Italian art scene of the 1990s.