The artists invited to the third edition of TRAFO MEDIA LAB, Filip Ćwik (Poland) and Volkan Kızıltunç (Turkey), use film and photography to study human behaviour and emotions. Filip Ćwik surfs the internet and appropriates pornographic images available only to the insiders. Volkan Kızıltunç films people whose portrayed, almost motionless bodies express anger, helplessness and fear of the unknown.
Filip Ćwik is one of the artists who use, process and edit things they discover in the virtual world. Knowingly exceeding the limits of privacy, he watched cybersex sessions and discreetly documented online rendezvous for more than a year and a half. However, these “borrowings” are not the main theme of Ćwik’s photographic series – the artist takes a nearly obsessive interest in studying human behaviours and emotions. This translates into a gesture-based tale of loneliness and helplessness. Ćwik sensitively composes his photographs and is not afraid of exposing the porn reality he is observing. Carefully studied shots, often taken out of the original context, change the perception of pornographic image thanks to intended aestheticisation achieved through digital manipulation. The pixels visible in the photos become the dominant elements of the graphic and eliminate the purely sexual, violent and shocking nature of the images. The perverse title of the series Love Actually is not a sarcastic comment by the author. It emphasizes the isolation and exploration of the substitutes for love in the reality dominated by virtual contact.
The Unspectacular by Volkan Kızıltunç features ordinary people who live in Istanbul, Trabzon and Nevşehir – Turkish cities affected by urban transformation. To emphasize the changes in these places, the artist consciously choses the outskirts of the cities, demolished houses or suburban roads. Kızıltunç uses a simple technique to touch the essence of the problem, at the same time showing the thin line between video and photography. He asks his subjects to pose for photographs, but he uses long exposures with the video. This technique refers to the roots of photography, when time was a very important factor in the process of taking it. As Lora Sarıaslan wrote, Kızıltunç’s silent video does not only capture an ephemeral moment occasionally interrupted by minimalist gestures, but it is also the time of observation and contemplation. Through a seemingly local subject the artist refers to the global phenomenon of transformation and its negative influence on people’s lives.
Filip Ćwik (born in 1973) is a photographer. He studied culture at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He is a co-founder of Napo Images Agency and Napo Foundation. Laureate of numerous photo contests, including: World Press Photo, Sony World Photography Awards, Grand Press Photo. In 2001-2013, he collaborated with Newsweek Poland magazine. He received a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In his work, he is trying to find a balance between documentary photography and the long-term artistic projects. In 2010-2012, he taught photojournalism at the Institute of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. In 2013, Filip Ćwik published his first album 12 twarzy/faces. His solo exhibitions include: Afghanistan – the Time of Trial in Warsaw (2002), INSIDE/OUTSIDE in Warsaw (2011), and 12 twarzy/faces in Krakow (2013). He runs his auctorial studio of portrait in Warsaw.
Volkan Kızıltunç (born in 1976 in Ankara). He studied archeology at Istanbul University. In 2005, he graduated from photography at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. That same year, he was chosen to participate in the Young Talents in Turkish Photography Exhibition. In 2006, he was featured at an international exhibition & book project in Germany, Last & Lost, Pictures of A Vanishing Europe which exhibited in Germany and Austria. He represented Turkey at ESSL ART AWARD CEE 2013 organised by ESSL Contemporary Art Museum in Vienna. In 2013, he was shortlisted as a finalist in the video art section of ARTE LAGUNA PRIZE showcased in Arsenale, Venice. Since 2009, he has worked as a research assistant at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, the Department of Photography. He works on photography and video projects and lives in Istanbul.
"Visible and Invisible" installation views © Uwe Walter
MEDIA LAB is the second, after TRAFO PLUG IN: PROJECT ROOM, annual exhibition program at TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art in Szczecin. The series popularizes two media: video and photography, examining their functions, context and roles and answering questions about their complex interdependent relations. It explores and challenges the boundaries between video and photography and provokes a discussion on their place in the context of the key trends in digital and virtual reality.
Every two months starting from January 30, 2015, MEDIA LAB presents the dialogue between two outstanding emerging artists. Past exhibitions featured Karol Komorowski and Alan Warburton, Mateusz Kiszka & Urszula Kozak. The third edition will be devoted to the art of Filip Ćwik and Volkan Kızıltunç, who will be followed by the artistic duo Epectase (Corentin Fohlen and Jérôme Von Zilw) and Krzysztof Maniak, Tomasz Wiech and Paweł Żukowski, Marek Kucharski and Dominika Gęsicka.