BORDER
2018
7’32’ Video
OVNİ / Festival of Video / Nice/ France

"Kıymet Daştan’s “Border” focuses on the ways in which an individual’s relationship with boundaries in urban life is shaped by quotidian experiences in public spaces. The artist turns her camera’s lens to accidental encounters between people who use public transport – metrobus – to commute between Asian and European sides of Istanbul where the official population is over fifteen million. Questioning the sharp divide between the dichotomous pairs of internal/external, pause/movement and public/private, Daştan sheds light on the issues of class-consciousness in a bustling metropolis.
The pictures that the artist has taken during several journeys on a metrobus demonstrate that individuals using this public transport look and act like a homogenous community through their belonging to similar daily routines and economic classes. The project begins with the artist’s recognition of human figures that become superimposed on each other coincidentally in the frames captured by the artist. In the second phase of the work, Daştan attempts to separate these figures from each other with surgical precision using a sharp knife but finds it impossible to produce isolated figures. The video is presented along with voices that can easily be identified by regular Metrobus users. Daştan seeks an individuality that may exist beyond the social complexity and urban palimpsest of Istanbul where class-based generalizations render rituals indistinguishable from each other and threaten one’s selfhood. She watches the passengers to arrest the possibility of a society where living together does not always come with a choice between drawing sharp lines and assimilating into a crowd."
Pelin Kıvrak