Barcelona

Erkan Özgen, Wonderland, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 3 minutes 54 seconds.

Erkan Özgen, Wonderland, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 3 minutes 54 seconds.

Erkan Özgen

Fundació Antoni Tàpies

In the wake of violence, what we are often left with is language, which foments its own battles—battles without bloodshed, perhaps, but nonetheless haunted by violence. “Today,” said the artist Erkan Özgen in a recent conversation, “language doesn’t work.” The four documentary videos comprising Özgen’s recent solo exhibition all grappled, more or less, with such failures of verbal communication.

The longest video in the exhibition, Purple Muslin, 2018, comprised a series of interviews with Yazidi women living in a refugee camp in northern Iraq. This Middle Eastern minority group—whose monotheistic religion, influenced by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, is one of the world’s oldest—has long been persecuted in the predominantly Muslim regions where most Yazidi dwell. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State denounced them as infidels and perpetrated a genocidal attack—the most recent of many to which

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