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Köken Ergun

I, Soldier, Ben Askerim, 07:14, Color, Stereo, TR, 2005

Nagrada Sfinga

Köken Ergun makes a very direct but discrete visualisation of an event, an artistic commentary to the specific political context of Turkey which becomes a universal commentary on ultranationalism. His visual strategy enables a new reading of the surviving imagery of 20th century state rituals. * Award goes for 2 works from same series: I soldier and The Flag. (jury members: Kathrin Becker, Dirk Deblauwe, Aleksandra Sekulić)

I, Soldier is the first part of a video series in which Köken Ergun deals with the state-controlled ceremonies for the national days of the Turkish Republic. The nationalistic attributes attached to these large-scale events are framed in a non-descriptive way and shown from an almost voyeuristic point of view. I, Soldier was shot at the ‘National Day for Youth and Sports’; the day that marks the start of the independence war of the Turkish people under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, against the Allied Forces back in 1919. The annual ceremony held at the biggest stadium of each city consists of figurative dances of high school students, choreographed in a ‘timeless’ socialist-realist manner.