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January 27 – March 31, 2012

The second solo exhibition in Greece of Turkish video artist Ali Kazma is entitled Absence. In collaboration with the Benaki Museum (138 Pireos & Andronikou st. tel. +30 210 3453111) a discussion will be held in English between the artist and curator Paolo Colombo, on Wednesday, January 25 at 18:00.

Ali Kazma is known for his Obstructions series where he meticulously documents different human activities related to production and labor. His unbiased viewpoint depicts with the same visual clarity and neutrality the violent process of animal slaughtering (Slaughterhouse, 2007), the dexterity and patience of clock-making (Clock Master, 2006) and brain surgery (Brain Surgeon, 2006) as well as the rapid and repetitive movement of stamping (O.K., 2010). Through a discrete way he enters into the realm of artists, artisans and professionals such as a taxidermist, a dancer, a painter, a cook, a studio ceramist, textile workers and elucidates with verisimilitude their work in process.

In his exhibition entitled Absence the artist has chosen to present his latest works called Absence (2011) and Written (2011). The first piece is displayed by two video projections where Kazma captures through multiple perspectives NATO’s old facilities, in which the intrinsic dynamic between human presence and absence recreates, but also reenacts another stream of consciousness towards the identity of the specific location. The latter work is depicted in a simultaneous six-channel video that records the burning process of written pieces of paper. The editing of the burning paper veils and unveils at the same time several phrases that instantly turn into ashes.

The paradoxical interrelation between life and death is enhanced in the Absence’s mute stillness combined with the subtle nature sounds that indicate the slightest evidence of life. Additionally, the disintegration of the paper and the included text is in a constant state of becoming that hovers between form and formlessness, growth and decay.

Through a different approach both videos reveal the core element in Kazma’s work; the notion of temporality and the passage of time where things are in a constant transformation, along with man’s quest and struggle to exist within this. Once again Ali Kazma’s unassertive camera gives the viewer an unpredictable aesthetic experience that transmits and reinforces the sense of “truthfulness” in physical reality.

Ali Kazma (b. 1971, Istanbul) is a video artist from Istanbul, who received his MA degree from The New School in New York City. In 2000, he returned to Istanbul, where he still resides. His video raise fundamental questions about the significance of human activity and labor as well as the meaning of economy, production, and social organization. He has exhibited his work in the Istanbul Biennial (2001, 2007 and 2011), Tokyo Opera City (2001), Platform Garanti, Istanbul (2004), Cetinje Biennial (2004), Istanbul Modern (2004, 2008 and 2011), 9th Havana Biennial (2006), San Francisco Art Institute (2006), Lyon Biennial (2007), Whitechapel, London (2008) and in the New Museum, New York (2010) among others. In 2010 he was the winner of the Nam June Paik Award.


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