Ali Kazma - Obstructions

Ali Kazma - Obstructions

curator: Maurizio Bortolotti

6 February - 21 March, 2008

I - 20134 MILANO

Ali Kazma is aware of modernization processes, but also of the imbalances these bring about. In particular, he focuses his attention on the changes taking place within economic macro-realities such as the Turkish one, which is currently undergoing great transformations.

His videos show us aspects of reality captured with great accuracy, as in Rolling Mills, a film about steel production inside a foundry in Dilovasi, a town situated north of Istanbul in a highly-industrialized and polluted area, or in "Slaughterhouse", a video about a Turkish slaughterhouse where the sequence of an industrial assembly line process is implemented, though the traditional method of slaying the animals without stunning is still in use for religious and cultural reasons.

His work takes into consideration the complexity of both contemporary realities and their various aspects. The series of videos he has produced so far do not concern only Turkish heavy industry, as in the case of the steel mill, but also the contradictory (dialectic) condition of an artisan skilfully assembling a 19th-century clock in Clock Master.

The artist shows us other, more refined aspects of modernization, such as those represented by avant-garde brain microsurgery. In Brain Surgeon a woman gets the movement of her arm back thanks to an operation which consists in making a hole in the cranium and penetrating her brain with a needle. There is also his latest work filmed inside the Turkish Mavi - Erak factory which produces jeans, a garment symbol of liberalization in morals in the Western world. Moving away from the Turkish reality and coming to the Italian one, another video of his is dedicated to Alessi – a company that produces design objects. The whole manufacturing process involved in the creation of a high-standard design object is shown in this collection and montage of visual materials.

The situation changes from Turkey to Italy, but at the same time Ali Kazma's work is capable of constructing an ideal platform which links together the different aspects of each country, through an obsession that enables him to capture the essential core of the reality he is investigating by penetrating it thoroughly. Starting from apparently peripheral situations, he manages to reach moments of high-definition in contemporary material production, which affect people's everyday life. A steel mill, a slaughterhouse assembly line, the survival of craftsmanship, technology applied to the body, industrial production of design objects, an icon-garment in the latest revolution in morality: Ali Kazma progresses by reviewing all the symbol-locations of modernity and dropping their mythological aspect, in order to give us back the core of that reality which represents the positive form of our present times.

Maurizio Bortolotti