Once Upon A Time A Clock-Watcher During Overtime Hours – book launch

September 16 2011
SALT Beyoglu – Istiklal Caddesi 136, Isatanbul

Within the context of Ahmet Ögüt’s current exhibition at SALT Beyoglu, Across the Slope, curator and critic Bruce Ferguson and Ahmet Ögüt will discuss the artist’s recent project Once upon a time a clock-watcher during overtime hours at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.

The catalogue of the exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani, published by NERO, which includes an essay by Bruce Ferguson, an essay by Adrienne Drake and a special illustrated section by the artist, will be presented during the conversation.

In Once upon a time a clock-watcher during overtime hours, Ögüt’s solo exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani, the artist moves his practice in a new direction, using an art collection as source material. Ögüt has selected works by Marina Abramovic, Giovanni Anselmo, Carl Andre, Mircea Cantor, Peter Coffin, Cyprien Gaillard, Joseph Kosuth and Sislej Xhafa from the Giuliani Collection to create “atmospheres” or interventions around each work which call attention to the characteristics of the works themselves, while also appropriating them to create multi-layered narratives with an open trajectory to generate and expand upon new meanings. Underlining these interventions is the consideration that no artwork has one single reading but is open to subjective interpretation. While paying homage to the works by these artists, Ögüt questions authorial originality and intentionality. He creates visual texts, which invite the viewer to really ponder a work of art while formulating new considerations and multiple readings.

Interspersed throughout the exhibition spaces are a body of artworks by the artist himself, several of which have been produced specifically for the show. These works underscore Ögüt’s continuing interest in time, sociological structures and mechanisms of surveillance and control. The 16mm film collage, Wikipolis, juxtaposes a scene from Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s seminal 1927 film on urban dystopia, with an image of a former nuclear bunker in Stockholm that now houses a data centre with 8,000 computer servers, two of which belong to WikiLeaks. The interactive installation, River Crossing Puzzle, transforms a traditional children’s puzzle into a playful but politically charged game, while with My Spy Desk, the exhibition’s viewers become unintentional protagonists. Ultimately, Once upon a time a clock-watcher during overtime hours invites the viewer to bear witness to and participate in an exercise of irony, nuance and layered interpretation.