January 24 - April 19, 2006
The Turkish artist Fikret Atay makes videos that offer short vignettes of life in Batman, a Kurdish city near the border between Turkey and Iraq. Using a hand-held camera and natural lighting, Atay films young local residents as they perform traditional dances, beat makeshift drums, and play war games. His simple, unaffected style lends an apparently straightforward authenticity to the images, yet the meanings of the performers' actions remain mysterious to viewers unfamiliar with the local culture. Despite the difficulties of filming in the highly charged political atmosphere of Batman, Atay's insistence on the specificity of place gives the work a distinctive presence and, despite an occaisional hint of danger, the sense of continuity of community.