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Köken Ergun

The Flag Bayrak, 09:01, Color, Stereo, TR, 2006

Sphinx Award

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)

Second part of Köken Ergun’s video series about the state-controlled national day ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. Shot during the ‘April 23rd Children’s Day’, which marks the establishment of the new Turkish Parliament, and the official demise of the Ottoman Empire back in 1920, this split screen film documents a pompous patriotic performance devised by elders to be performed by children. Hosted by the mayor and governor of Istanbul, with the participation of a high ranking general, the ceremony features poems and oaths read out loud by primary schools students. Patriotism becomes a hard-lined nationalism.