ahmet öğüt

The world is going through extraordinary processes in terms of daily, political, sociological and cultural dimensions. The pandemic conditions we have been in for about two years have changed daily life to a great extent. However, we did almost all of our work from home. Artists who reflect, produce and record this way of life have contributed to the normalization of the feeling of being alone and working from home.


Artworks Made at Home, Essay Documentary, 2020, Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’20, Coproduced by steirischer herbst ’20 and ULTRAVIOLET Film Produksiyon, Title design and graphics by Studio Pul, With the kind support of SAHA Association, courtesy of the artist.

In this context, the first two pieces of Ahmet Öğüt’s essay-documentary project, Artworks Made at Home and Artists Making Music, come to mind. The first piece of the project, Artworks Made at Home, was exhibited at the Steirischer Herbst Festival held in Graz, Austria from September 24 until October 18, 2020. The festival reinvents itself by actively responding to the atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty due to the pandemic. It argues that instead of suppressing the fear created by the second wave in the autumn of 2020, we should fear the problems that are part of what is considered normal, such as xenophobia, minority, racism, inequality. Rather than suppress this fear, the festival interacts with it by reinventing itself as an experimental television format called Paranoia TV. Paranoia TV is an uncanny and disturbing platform that broadcasts on various frequencies around the world from a dystopian parallel universe where there is no such thing as security.

Ahmet Öğüt, who was invited to this festival that took place during the pandemic period when reality seemed like a dystopia, produces the essay documentary Artworks Made at Home. The video, produced with the support of SAHA Association, wich was founded to support artists, curators, and writers working in visual arts from Turkey in improving their production and development environments, and to enhance their interactions with international art institutions and networks, meets its audience online.

In tis video, Öğüt looks at art history and examines works produced at home, on a kitchen table, in the living room. The video, which we can define as the product of a comprehensive research, deals with the common problem of the whole world with a different perspective, through the concept of home. In this video, Öğüt brings together works produced at home by international artists. For example, one of them is the video of Martha Rosler’s performance on the kitchen table, using various kitchen utensils, in alphabetical order and in a masculine language.

Ahmet Öğüt’s video deals with the point that the current period we are in brought the artists to, from a wider  perspective.  Through this video, the memory of everyday life is dated to the year 2020.

Long before the global pandemic broke out, artists were constantly exploring new meanings of “home” as a supposedly universal concept, by producing works of art at home. Apartments become workshops and museums; kitchens and sleeping quarters become politically charged grounds, spaces for action, and places to subvert the semiotics of everyday life, often through humor [1].

Born in Turkey/Diyarbakır, somewhere in the middle of Asia and Europe, and living in Amsterdam and Berlin, Öğüt produced the second video in his documentary project, Artists Making Music, in 2021. The video was exhibited in New York as part of the Asia Society Triennial, the second part of which took place between March 26 and June 27, 2021. The first screening took place on YouTube Live on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The documentary, which includes a historical analysis of music produced by visual artists, includes sections from music videos made by about 15 international artists. Öğüt combines this collage video with the music he has produced.

Artists Making Music, Essay Documentary, 2021, 17’31’’, co-commissioned by Protocinema, Istanbul, New York and Asia Society Museum, New York, Title design and graphics by Studio Pul, Citation: Jorg Heiser, Double Lives in Art and Pop Music (Sternberg Press, 2019), courtesy of the artist.

Artists Making Music explores the long love story between the visual arts and music. In addition to a new original soundtrack by Sub-Botnick (Ahmet Öğüt & Maru Mushtrieva), the work features sequences from music videos made by international artists over the past forty-five years, the earliest from the collaboration between Art and Language and The Red Krayola in 1976 [2].

Drawing attention to the minority problem, which has always existed throughout history and was felt more during the epidemic, the triennial refers to these uncertain and chaotic times we are going through. The Asia Society Triennial focuses on the production of contemporary art from and related to Asia, in the United States. This first edition of the triennial consists of a multi-site exhibition, interdisciplinary panels, forums and performances taking place at the Asia Society Museum in New York and common spaces in the city. The Asia Society Triennial reflects the diversity of contemporary art in Asia and the diaspora and celebrates the rich fabric of Asian cultures that make up an important but historically underserved demographic in New York City. Inspired by the line “A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality” in Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit published in 1964, the triennial is held at the Asia Society Museum under the title We Do Not Dream Alone [3].

While the memory of political, sociological, cultural and daily life is constructed moment by moment, Öğüt conceptualizes intercultural dialogue through sound with his documentary Artists Make Music. While the epidemic is still ongoing, one of the ugliest wars in history is the continuing existence of racism and xenophobia, the gaining acceleration of the hate speech against Asian, LGBTI+ and other communities, the dramatic increase in abuse and violence, the effort to take the world towards a future constructed through divided communities completely rejects the possibility of cultures mutually giving birth and nurturing one another.

Ahmet Öğüt, a visual artist who makes music, weaves the times of the world through sound and image in this essay-documentary project. While this pattern creates a visual memory for artists who produce with similar spaces and materials in the history of art, it also creates an auditory archive.

The clearest conclusion I will connect here is about the sound. Sound is a universal language in the world. The sound, disburdened from the signs of language, becomes the common language of wars, birth, death, fear, pain, joy and nature throughout history.



[1] http://www.saha.org.tr/

[2] https://www.protocinema.org/

[3] https://asiasociety.org/


Gözde Mulla

Gözde Mulla (Akşehir, 1986). Sanat alanında araştırıyor, yazıyor ve üretiyor. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Resim Bölümü’nde başladığı lisansını aynı bölümde devam ettiği Sanatta Yeterlik programı ile tamamladı. Yaşamındaki yer değişikliklerinin etkisiyle birlikte “ev” kavramı etrafında dolaştığı tezini 2019 yılının sıcak bir Haziran gününde Ankara’daki evinde düzenlediği sergi ile noktaladı. Mekân, boşluk, eşik kavramları çerçevesinde ele aldığı çalışmalarına kültür-sanat alanı ile ilgili değerlendirme, eleştiri, inceleme yazıları ve akademik makaleler ile devam ediyor.