Within the scope of the exground film festival 30 with the focus on Turkey from 4 November to 17 December, the Nassauische Kunstverein Wiesbaden will present two videos of the Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa about women, about their life, their identity and their role in Turkish society, about their feelings and their courage.

The fictional videos The City and the Secret Panther Fashion (2007) and Insomniambule (2011) by Gülsün Karamustafa (* 1946, Ankara, Turkey) address the role of modern women in today's Turkey. The protagonists move in an area of tension between power and impotence, in dream worlds beyond everyday life.

The City and the Secret Panther Fashion participates in the ongoing debate on whether women, especially Muslim women, should cover their bodies or not, and the related ethical issues. Humorously, the film presents a counterstrategy of women in the struggle against the mandatory veiling. In the fictitious story, a group of five women meet in an apartment to have a coffee together - and to wear body-toned clothes with a leopard print. The interior of the apartment curtains, bedspreads, chairs, and tables, as well the wallpaper is held in the same pattern. This special pattern symbolizes the freedom and self-determination of women and the power over one's own body, in short: emancipation. Behind it lies the dream of a future without any restraints, since in the story, only the seclusion of a private apartment allows the control of one's own appearance, so that contrary to common belief a closed interior offers the greatest freedom. The longer the group wears the leopard patterned clothes, the freer the women become. The joy of life and hunger for life swell until, at the end of the afternoon, it’s time to strip of the second skin. The reality takes the women in the form of their simple everyday clothes and they leave their hidden dream world behind a thick grate door - but with arranging to meet the next day at the same place.

Insomniambule introduces two protagonists: Somnambule, the sleepwalker, and Insomniac, the sleepless. Although, at first glance, contrasting, the parallelism between them quickly shows itself, as they both resist the sleep, albeit from a different state. The two allegories are presented to the observer as sisters, who hurry through the symbolic doors of memory and recollection together. Following each other, never to be separated, so that their merging, as already indicated by their names, becomes even more obvious. The action is mostly in a cool and sterile apartment, personalized only by a collection of private photographs. By this means, the film also discusses aspects of creative imagery. It suggests that artistic creativity is evolving in moments that oscillate between insomnia and somnambulism.

About the artist /
Gülsün Karamustafa (* 1946, Ankara, Turkey) is one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century in Turkey. After studying at the Istanbul Academy of Arts she began her artistic career in the 1970s. Since then she has had individual exhibitions amongst others at the Art Museum Bonn, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, SALT, Istanbul, Villa Romana, Florence and the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. Her works are in the media painting, installation, performance and video. In the process, she deals artistically with the topics of migration, identity, memory and history, privacy and the public, gender as well as the western view of the countries of the Middle East.

Gülsün Karamustafa, The City and the Secret Panther Fashion, 2007, Single channel video film, 13:07“, Courtesy: The Artist, Set photo by Serra Gulyuz.

NKVextra Gülsün Karamustafa The City and the Secret Panther Fashion / Insomniambule

04. November 2017 - 17. December 2017


Opening / Friday, November 3rd, 2017, 6 to 8 pm

In cooperation with

exground filmfest 30 /
November 17th to November 26th, 2017