Roles in Archive: Artist
b. 1981 Diyarbakir, Turkey
Ahmet Ogüt’s works take up themes related to war, conflict and power, in order to delineate and critique their wide influence on daily life, as well as to point to gaps where one can attempt to live outside, or against them. For example, his series of photographs entitled Mutual Issues, Invented Acts (2008) depicts people engaged in strange, improvisatory actions that appear to be ingenious solutions to everyday problems. The photographs capture small, survival gestures that speak to the possibility of finding unusual ways to overcome need and navigate the space of today’s metropolis. More ambiguous is his video Death Kit Train (2005), in which an unnecessarily long train of men push a car in slow motion. At first, it seems that we are seeing an overexcited display of kindness, but the work’s ominous title and Sisyphean tone suggest that something more sinister is at work: it calls to mind funeral processions and, concomitantly, contemporary culture’s most notorious “death kit,” the car bomb.