While bringing clothes and other supplies to refugees in 2016, Turkish video artist Erkan Özgen met a deaf, mute Syrian boy, Muhammed, who told him the story of his experience in the Syrian war. Özgen asked the boy’s family for permission to videotape Muhammed, and the result is a four-minute video called “Wonderland.” Özgen restricts showings of “Wonderland” to “live” rooms, not wanting its transmission to suffer the impossible-to-control conditions of the Internet. But in 2018 he allowed this 12-minute documentary to be made by the Danish contemporary art centre, Louisiana, including much of “Wonderland.” The articulacy and impact of Muhammed’s telling is undeniable, and it raises the question, is speech a necessary precondition for politics? And, can mediated bodies bring a political space into being?
8 August, 2022