Excerpts of the text created for the catalogue “filetieren.SCHNITT” (to filet.CUT), published for the same-titled exhibition at Gallery Januar, Bochum, Germany in 2013
text by Samira Yildirim // Translation: Nadja Gremmel
(complete text: denisewinter.de)
From Basement to Basement
Representational and non-representational dialectics in Denise Winter’s installation-based projections
[...] The cloth hovers above Tarlabaşı, a quarter of Istanbul which is already doomed to fall prey to the bulldozers and thus joins bygone times with prospective fate in the immersive installation-based projection Above_Tarlabaşı.
The installation is immersive as five beamers cover all of the basement’s walls including the spectator’s body in the projection. Yet the work is not limited to the spectator’s inclusion, it simultaneously deals with the concomitance of various experiences in time deriving from the synchronous presence of pictures from the past and the implied emphasis of the here and now.
[...] The celestial cloth was being brought down to her dark basement, Winter’s artist-in-residence home in Istanbul, to be projected unto a gap in the wall so that the projection itself does not meet an even surface but appears slightly cleft and slotted, partly casting its light on the stairs and on the wall.
In the second basement, now in Langendreer, the cloth seems to volatilise in a transparency which strips bare the walls’ surfaces. Not unlike the Istanbul’s basement walls the five projections in the Gallery January appear distorted, stretched and buckled. The rough feel of the walls’ surfaces captivates the view and literally lets the spectator’s attention snag on its edges. The projected areas emit light both slantwise and on the walls which are situated diagonally across the projection. The rectangular of the projection appears dispersed or flexed. The spectator is rotating and being in the process of this movement lets her or his view roam from one projection to the next one, both perceiving and re-enacting the synchrony of the images. It is hard to locate the projection because the filming of the special architectural spatiality in the Istanbul basement is being confused by the artist’s appearance in the movie, as she is frequently going up and down the stairs. The immaterial light of the projection is being used in a way constructing echelons, serving both as superficial markers of the situation and at the same time creating a whole microcosm of itself in the basement. The spatiality which distinguishes itself by a low ceiling height provides a situation in which the cloth hovers around the spectator. There is a formal analogy between the underlying meandering sound of the calling muezzin and the wavy cloth. The voice stretches certain vowels before concluding his sentences with a wavelike melody. With regards to content this chant serves as a call for prayer, a sound which is quite ubiquitous in Islamic countries but more unusual in the western context. Sun, cloth, call of the muezzin; the soon-to-be fully gentrified Tarlabaşı replenishes this basement with the impression of another cultural background, with warmth. Given the fact of whole quarters being erased and gentrified in the metropolis Istanbul these poetic images of a cloth hovering in bright sunshine are being added a subtle hint of melancholy.