Old House

Artist: Nasrin Tabatabai
video | 30 | 1999

The video film entitled Old House was made by the artist at the request of Haci Ceyhan, a Turkish shop owner from Rotterdam. He wanted to show the town in which he lives to his family back in Turkey by sending them a video film about the town. The film was shot while they were riding in a car through town, mostly around Rotterdam. Haci instructed the artist to record what he was going to show her together with his running commentary. The artist said that she tried to become his eyes and follow his intentions. In the film Haci presents the town in which he lives mostly to a Turkish audience, yet also from the viewpoint of what would interest a casual tourist the most. He presents four Turkish banks, the Turkish Embassy, some of the old and prominent buildings, museums and also the newly built bridge. All of this is presented with the characteristic distance of an immigrant and even with a hint of pride, at least regarding the new bridge over which they ride several times. The viewer also has a chance to visit his shop; and, at the very end of the film, Haci takes the artist to a Turkish bakery shop to taste the bread. And so ends a topography of the town of Rotterdam through the eyes of a Turkish immigrant. In her work, Nasrin Tabatabai did not dwell on her own ideas, but tried to achieve the intentions of the shop owner. The final process is not the embodiment of her idea, but above all the connection that was established throughout the process of shooting the video. When the patterns of ideas and movements of different people take place at the same time, then it is no longer clear who caused and who created these thoughts. The artist believes that the completed task becomes a kind of synonym of cooperation. With this kind of work method the borders which people often introduce in their work, or the feelings toward others, are obliterated so that genuine relationships can be established.


Manifesta 3 - Borderline Syndrome. Energies of Defence | 2000.06.23 - 2000.09.24 | Cankarjev Dom(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | International Centre of Graphic Arts(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | Museum of Modern Art(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | National Museum of Slovenia(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | RTV Slovenia