Kutlug Ataman

BAWAG Contemporary

The show's title could have come from Bob Dylan's melancholy poetry: “A Rose Blooms in the Garden of Sorrows” is a phrase that sounds like scratched vinyl. The Turkish filmmaker and video artist Kutlug Ataman a resented three recent works addressing social and sexual identities. A politically engaged artist, Ataman continually crosses the border between the cinema and the museum, the past and the present, the virtual and the politically relevant—and, finally, between reality and fiction.

Semiha B. Unplugged, 1997, a remarkable 465-minute video, is a portrait of the Turkish opera star Semiha Berksoy. At over eighty years old, she is as flamboyant as one could hope and performs for Ataman's handheld camera like there's no tomorrow—think Courtney Love, fifty years from now. Her lips are slathered in rouge vulgaire, her cheeks in radiant pink. In black underwear and a skin-tone body

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