BLACK ATLANTIS

SALT BEYOĞLU

APRIL 6 – APRIL 7, 2019

Hydra Decapita 2010 The Otolith Group’un 2010 tarihli <i>Hydra Decapita</i> [Kesik Başlı Hydra] video işinden bir kare. MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation izniyle. ©The Otolith Group
Still from the video work Hydra Decapita (2010) by The Otolith Group
Courtesy MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. ©The Otolith Group
Walk-in Cinema

SALT’s Black Atlantis program is a selection of sea-related resistance and cultural formation stories including the video works by The Otolith Group, Sophie Mallett, Halil Altındere and Agnieszka Polska as well as a film by Jean Painlevé. Speculating on both the present-day and future, the program will begin with an experimental lecture-performance by Ayesha Hameed on April 6.

Lecture-Performance: Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism
Writer, artist, and lecturer at Goldsmiths University in London, Ayesha Hameed works on the issues of contemporary borders, migration, and visual cultures of the Black Atlantic—a distinct culture, shaped by slavery and the slave trade all along the Atlantic rim countries. The fifth part of her lecture-performance Black Atlantis, Retrograde Futurism (2018) is an audio-visual essay on a six-meter “ghost boat,” carrying the dessicated bodies of 11 young men, which was found adrift off the Barbadian coast on April 29, 2006. It set sail on Christmas day from Cape Verde en route to the Canary Islands, and was full of migrants from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, and Gambia. Each of these men had paid £890 for their place on the boat. Presenting “an inadequate” telling of the story, Hameed’s lecture-performace, hovering between the film and the essay form, questions the adequacy of the measuring of histories.

Screening: Hydra Decapita
Founded in 2002 in London by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, The Otolith Group’s Hydra Decapita (2010) centers on the work of Detroit-based techno music duo Drexciya. Influenced by Afro-futurist theories, their 1997 album The Quest revealed that Drexciya was a submerged underwater country that was populated by the unborn children of pregnant women who were thrown overboard during the middle passage of slave ships across the Atlantic. Focusing on the 1871 Zong Case in Hydra Decapita, The Otolith Group used this imagined world as a point of departure to explore notions of globalization, capitalism and climate change, with a particular attention to the relationships between finance, death, abstraction, and language.

Screening: Our Gelatinous Past
Artist and filmmaker working in London, Sophie Mallett speculates the future of oceans if jellyfish populations were to continue to grow due to increasing seawater temperatures and overfishing in this 2018 work. Recalling the prehistoric days when the jellyfish ruled the oceanic life, the docufiction film investigates the resistant and opportunistic inheritors of the seas, and the strategies they adopted to become the protagonists of a new era in geopolitics.

Screening: Acéra ou Le bal des sorcières [Acera or the Witches’ Dance]
Specialized in underwater fauna, photographer and filmmaker Jean Painlevé (1902-1989) shot this 1978 film along the coast of Brittany in France. Combining scientific research with artistic avant-garde, the work presents the balletic choreography of acera, small ball-shaped mollusks that are about two inches in diameter. The camera elegantly captures the mollusks’ mating dance as they flit to the dramatic melodies of the composer Pierre Jansen.

Screening: Siren
Artist Halil Altındere’s Siren (2016) opens up with a monologue by trans activist Belgin Çelik, as she recounts her days at traveling funfairs in Anatolia where she performed in a mermaid costume. Inspired by her story, the work turns into a tense underwater chase movie with action sequences borrowed from B-movies.

Screening: Ask the Siren
Working with computer-generated media, artist Agnieszka Polska’s work dated 2017 posits the figure of mermaid as a symbol for the Polish identity crisis. With the aquatic creature being the emblem of the capital city of Warsaw, the artist merges myth, history, and politics to question the annihilation of Slavic paganism in the 10th century and the Christianization of Poland.

Taking place in the Walk-in Cinema at SALT Beyoğlu, the program Black Atlantis is free.


In accordance with Article 7 of Law No. 5224 amended on 18.01.2019,
films that have not been assessed and classified by the General Directorate of Cinema, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey, can only be screened under the classification of 18+ at festivals, special screenings or similar culture and arts events.



APRIL 6
15.00-16.00 Lecture-Performance by Ayesha Hameed

Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism
English

16.15 Screening
The Otolith Group, Hydra Decapita, 2010
English; Turkish subtitles
32 minutes
Courtesy MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation.

16.50 Screening
Sophie Mallett, Our Gelatinous Past, 2018
English; Turkish subtitles
20 minutes

17.10 Screening
Jean Painlevé, Acéra ou Le bal des sorcières [Acera or the Witches’ Dance], 1978
French; Turkish subtitles
13 minutes

17.25 Screening
Halil Altındere, Siren, 2016
Turkish; English subtitles
9 minutes

17.35 Screening
Agnieszka Polska, Ask the Siren, 2017
Polish; English and Turkish subtitles
11 minutes

APRIL 7
15.00 Screening

The Otolith Group, Hydra Decapita, 2010
English; Turkish subtitles
32 minutes
Courtesy MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation.

15.35 Screening
Sophie Mallett, Our Gelatinous Past, 2018
English; Turkish subtitles
20 minutes

15.55 Screening
Jean Painlevé, Acéra ou Le bal des sorcières [Acera or the Witches’ Dance], 1978
French; Turkish subtitles
13 minutes

16.10 Screening
Halil Altındere, Siren, 2016
Turkish; English subtitles
9 minutes

16.20 Screening
Agnieszka Polska, Ask the Siren, 2017
Polish; English and Turkish subtitles
11 minutes
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