One and the Many

Salt Galata

September 21 – November 2, 2016

Cemkaya Remix Remake Rip Off 2014 <i>MOTÖR: Kopya Kültürü ve Popüler Türk Sineması</i> (2014) filminden bir kare
Yönetmenin izniyle
Still from the film Remake, Remix, Rip-Off (2014)
Courtesy the director
SALT Galata, Auditorium

One and the Many Screenings at SALT Galata is programmed by Cem Kaya, director of the documentary Remake, Remix, Rip-Off (2014), as a response to the exhibition theme genuine copies. Kaya states that the Turkish film industry Yeşilcam has been widely accused of being a thief of ideas as he has encountered the term “çakma” [fake] used typically to identify it. It is actually correct that, thanks to the legal insufficiency of enforcing copyright regulations until fairly recently, Turkish filmmakers saw it within their rights to appropriate other films. Kaya’s Remake, Remix, Rip-Off raises the question whether appropriation is explicitly an act of wrongdoing or whether there could be any value to the process in which some existing cultural product is taken and interpreted into a new context and displayed to a different audience.

The act of copying could very well be identified as an act of learning. The lack of any educational departments for film in Turkey up until the 1970s, resulted in a generation of Yeşilçam filmmakers whose professional knowledge was limited to Turkish-dubbed Western movies. Played across theaters in Turkey in the 1940s and 50s, such movies were the seeding samples for those who were then learning the crafts of filmmaking.

Pressurized for various reasons including harsh censorship, lack of film stock and proper equipment as well as regulatory laws on cinema, the main “freedom” available to filmmakers was the lax copyright situation. Hence they helped themselves by taking bits and pieces from the cultural pool of the entire globe, be it scripts, soundtracks and even film sequences. This way, new productions emerged out of the existing, they were often unpolished and raw, but with a childish excessiveness, and these attributes proved much more creative and entertaining than anything mainstream cinema had to offer.

Turkish mainstream cinema never really became an independent industry itself. In Kaya’s opinion the same might be argued for other industrial fields, where in a similar way production processes have not developed either technically or socially to the full. He suggests that while Turkey serves as a major provider of cheap labor and industrial assembly, many of its local industries rely on putting together modules produced abroad. This allows the internal market to be first shaped by commodities produced under license and thanks to a lack of proper copyright law homemade derivatives are able to flourish locally. Under these circumstances can appropriation be considered a bad thing, and could there in fact be potential in the act of copying just as there has been in the field of cinema?

The selection for One and the Many Screenings aims to portray two main trends in order to support the exhibition in its analysis of genuine copies and production culture. First the social and economic issues faced in Turkey over the period of 1955-95, and second the films formed out of the rip-off craze. Other relevant films selected by the director can be viewed in SALT Research at SALT Galata.


September 21, 19.00
Remake, Remix, Rip-Off (2014)
Director: Cem Kaya
96 minutes
Turkish and German; English subtitles

September 28, 19.00
Gecelerin Ötesi [Beyond the Nights] (1960)
Director: Metin Erksan
90 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

October 5, 19.00
Karanlıkta Uyananlar [Those Awakening in the Dark] (1964)
Director: Ertem Göreç
114 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

October 12, 19.00
Bitmeyen Yol [Never Ending Road] (1965)
Director: Duygu Sağıroğlu
93 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

October 19, 19.00
Talihli Amele [The Lucky Worker] (1980)
Director: Atıf Yılmaz
91 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

October 26, 19.00
Bir Yudum Sevgi [A Sip of Love] (1984)
Director: Atıf Yılmaz
91 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

November 2, 19.00
Camdan Kalp [A Heart of Glass] (1990)
Director: Fehmi Yaşar
103 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles

November 9, 19.00
Tarzan İstanbul’da [Tarzan in Istanbul] (1952)
Director: Orhan Atadeniz
89 minutes
Turkish; English subtitles