prev /home/ next
Entanglement (2003). Six channel PAL video, sound, 3 min. Installation view 8th International Istanbul Biennial, 2003.

Many of Ergin Cavusoglu’s earlier films such as Impasse, Street Dance and Mountain Bike are shot in liminal and non-spaces of cities – dark streets, doorways, pavements, thresholds to public buildings, abandoned lots - and centre on banal objects: street signs, turnstiles, parked cars. Around each, an everyday drama is enacted or hinted at. In many ways these films all document ‘trouble’ at ground level, but in his most recent work Entanglement the drama is apparently abstracted to the air.

The installation, a blacked out, six-screen film of helicopters hovering in the night sky, both disconcerts and entangles our senses in a sym- phony of tracking beams, sonic rotations and blinding light spots. A sense of anxiety circumscribes us as we try to read this lexicon of aesthetic intensities. All in all, a dangerous geometry, and one that cannot be taken as given.For instance, the one steady component of the work, the elliptical rotation of a red light, is actually a child’s toy helicopter flying beneath a ceiling. A key, or, a clue perhaps, to the unfixity of scale in operation here, between the specific and the global, from child’s models to international policing.

Is it an individual that has become ‘entangled’ in something illicit and is being tracked by the authorities? Or is it the swarm of helicopters that cannot pull away, even if they want to, and have themselves become vulnerable? In this interplay between the ground and indeterminate airspace, in Cavusoglu’s orchestration of discordant lights, a new language of abstracted global fears is articulated at the same time that a very local and specific anxiety, or pleasure, is experienced.

Simon Harvey
3rd berlin biennial for contemporary art, catalogue text (2004)