Born 1946 in Ankara, Turkey.
Lives and works in Istanbul.
Personal Time Quartet, 2000
4 channel video installation, 2’ 32’’
Sound composed by Peter Mahajdić
Courtesy Momentum, Berlin
The four-part video Personal Time Quartet is concerned with the point of intersection between the artist’s own personal biography and the history of her home country. Having been invited to an exhibition of German domestic interiors from various periods in the twentieth century at the Historical Museum in Hanover, Karamustafa was inspired by what she saw there to take a closer look at the similarities between her own childhood reminiscences and these museological German living spaces. The timeframe (or ‘personal time’) covered by these four video’s begins in the year of her father’s birth and ends in the early days of her own childhood. A video screen placed in each of the rooms showed the same young girl – the artist’s alter ego – engaged in various activities. We see her skipping with a skipping rope (dining room, 1906), sorting and folding laundry (kitchen, around 1913), opening cupboards and drawers (living room and parents’ bedroom, around 1930) and painting her nails (from the 1950s).
The films themselves, however, were not shot inside the museum, but rather in her apartment in Istanbul. Viewing them therefore gives rise to the most diverse associations. The girl skipping suggests a carefree childhood, the nail-painting a concern with the artist’s own femininity, the folding of laundry could be read as preparation for her future role of housewife, while opening cupboards and drawers is a way of discovering the hidden secrets and stories that are so much a part of our recollections of childhood and adolescence.
In this installation, therefore, Karamustafa not only debunks the local or national specificity of certain styles, but at the same time exposes just how similar the evolution of (female) identity can be, even in very disparate cultures.