National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens


26/01/2012 - 29/02/2012


Gülsün Karamustafa 

The Settler & Bosphorus 1954

Athens Conservatoire

26/01/2012 – 29/02/2012

Ιn parallel to the presentation of the new work by Gülsün Karamustafa titled The Apartment Building in the Project Room, the National Museum of Contemporary Art presents a small tribute to the work of one of the most important figures of the contemporary Turkish artistic scene, in the framework of the series Every Month. In the two spaces of the mezzanine of the Museum the double screen video installation titled The Settler, 2003 and the single channel video installation Bosphorus 1954, 2008 will be presented.


The Settler, 2003 Double screen video installation
5:17, colour, with sound

The story in the video installation The Settler, 2003 is based on the ‘forced displacement/compulsory exchange’ in Balkan history witnessed repeatedly throughout endless wars. A river runs in Edirne (Old Adrianopolis) the border city of Turkey where it meets with Bulgaria and Greece in Thrakia forming a delicate water line. Throughout the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and the following years lots of human exchange has been made between the two sides of this water. Two screens, substituted for the two ends of this water will serve as a space for stories that belong to those who are forced to leave their physical and mental belongings behind as well as their memories. Both films finish with interchanging of space between the images that are shown on each screen. That is, the film which begins on one screen crossing the virtual border, ends on the other screen and vice versa… The Settler is a poetic sequence on two women’s story from two sides of the water, which end up on the other side, confronting each other’s environment, which should be thought as the right place for them but probably never the same, with their emotions, wounded by the traces of war. The whole work is a tribute to both of my grandmothers” who survived through the bitterness of long lasting disputes.
Bosphorus 1954, 2008 Video installation
5:05 min in loop, black and white, with sound

The video installation Bosphorus 1954, 2008 refers to the severe winter of 1954 when Bosphorus was filled with blocks of ice floating from the Black Sea Region. The event is still remembered as an “Urban Legend”. This unexpected situation enabled the citizens of Istanbul to walk on foot over the sea in a miraculous way from one side to the other, stepping on ice blocks. The artist tries to make up a recollection piece following the traces, through images and narrations, for those enchanting moments. Collaborating with a narrator (either someone who have witnessed the event or a make believe person) who would poetically talk about those legendary days shared at the Bosphorus, the video installation will create the atmosphere of a winter time in a part of the world which is always remembered as a sunny oasis by the foreigners.


Photo: Gülsün Karamustafa, Bosphorus 1954, 2008