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15 Jul 2011

Ali Kazma at Espace Topographie de l'Art, Paris

Production still, Clerk
(c) Selen Korkut

How to film a poet?
Analix Forever / Espace Topographie de l'Art, Paris


From 9 until 24 July
Open Wednesday - Sunday, 2 - 7 pm
Special evening on July 21 - Soirée Fashion & Vidéo - Du fil au défilé, la mode est travail

Marylène Malbert
+33 6 81 47 94 21

Espace Topographie de l'Art
15 rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris

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Solo show curated by Analix Forever Gallery
At Espace Topographie de l'Art, Paris

Ali Kazma has been addressing, over the last years, in a very personal manner, the practices, the gestures, the concentration, the pain, and the aesthetics of humans at work. He has shot in factories, slaughterhouses, kitchens and artists' studios, and has recorded striking images of the efforts of people dedicated to production and imposing order, imbued with the will to stop, or at least slow down the process of dissolution. Whether he is capturing the professional skills of a clockmaker in Istanbul, his home town, a taxidermist, textile workers in a jeans factory, a neurosurgeon or a chef, a painter or dancers, his approach is always patient, attentive and thoroughly documented, and the formal result unfailingly realistic and poetic. Kazma's passionate attention to human activity has indeed been described as both 'archaeological and poetic'. It is archaeological insofar as the credit and attention given to the precision of the actions, positions and techniques inherent in the work can be interpreted as a form of methodical recording; and poetic in that the images, while perfectly realist, offer a density that creates further reflection and associations.

At the Espace Topographie de l'Art in Paris, Kazma is presenting nine videos from the Obstructions series, which has recently earned him the Nam June Paik Award. In this former industrial space, Kazma is re-creating a conscious construction of a world where human beings become themselves, at least in part, through their very 'work', which thus somehow becomes, according to Hannah Arendt, a human action, ie, a political construction. The images of the nine videos, through their dynamic interactions, create a constantly changing audio-visual representation, an echo of the outside world.

One of the latest works by Kazma, Clerk, distinguishes itself from the Obstructions series as it specifically focuses on a notary clerk's act of stamping official documents with surprising speed and incredible dexterity. Instead of the production and work areas predominant in the general structure of Obstructions, Kazma here uses a professional studio and trains his camera on the hand of the notary's clerk, which grants approval with each stamping of a document.

The show is entitled by a question that has puzzled the artist, who is a passionate bibliophile : How to film a poet ? Looking at the works with this question in mind may cast some light on the difficult issue of the plastic representation of the intellectual human activities.

Special thanks to AV France.

Open 9-24 July, Wednesday to Sunday, 2-7 pm
Espace Topographie de l'Art – 15 rue de Thorigny, Paris 3e