How To Tell a Story

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How To Tell A Story addresses storytelling as discipline that moved from marketing strategies to political discourses to enter the whole news/media system. Observing the almost-scientific set of rules and schemes it responds to, storytelling is used as a point of departure to stage mechanisms, hierarchies and power relations that regulate the production and distribution of information. The exhibition presents works and practices by international artists which, through different media, deconstruct storytelling and interfere with the narrative HOWstructure TO of both dominant and peripheral stories, so as to rephrase history. TELL A way STORY By looking at the that media operate, the artists tackle their role in shaping the collective ARCHIVE with CAN ALTAY imaginary. At the same time, the potential ALEKSANDRA DOMANOVIĆ JOHN MENICK VLADIMIR NIKOLIC off ered by these media is put at use to explore DAN PERJOVSCHI MARINELLA SENATORE methodologies and let emerge participative JOHN SMITH IMOGEN STIDWORTHY collective and shared narratives. ADAM VAČKÁŘ Curated by Emanuele Guidi and Cathy Larqué


How To Tell A Story addresses storytelling as discipline that moved from marketing strategies to political discourses to enter the whole news/media system. Observing the almost-scientific set of rules and schemes it responds to, storytelling is used as a point of departure to stage mechanisms, hierarchies and power relations that regulate — the by:production and Curated Emanuele Guidi and Cathy Larquédistribution of information. January 12th 2013 - February 17th 2013 Opening: 11th Friday 2013,presents 18:30 The January exhibition works and practices by Music by Timo Rohula from “19:30” international artists which, through different by Aleksandra Domanović, 7:30 p.m. media, deconstruct storytelling and interfere — 12 January 2013, 16:30 Lecture Perjovschi withby Dan the narrative structure of both dominant 16 February 2013 and peripheral stories, so as to rephrase history. Lecture by Chiara Figone (Archive Books): Inventory / Polish Underground Publishing By looking at the way that media operate, the Followed by: Censorship and Media Freedom in Europe or, the Challenges in Telling True artists tackle their role in shaping the collective Stories Panel Discussion with: Rosen Dimov / European Alternatives, for Media Pluralismthe 
 imaginary. At theInitiative same time, potential Haluk Kalafat / bianet 
 Banu Karaca / Siyah Bant and Sabancı University 
 offered by these media is put at use to explore Niccolo Milanese / European Alternatives participative methodologies and let emerge — DEPO Lüleci Hendek Caddesi,and no. 12, Tophane, İstanbul narratives. collective shared Visiting hours: 11:00 - 19:00 (Tue. – Sun.) Cover image: The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976, John Smith

tel: 212 292 39 56 www.depoistanbul.net


How To Tell A Story addresses storytelling as discipline that moved from marketing strategies to political discourses to enter the whole news/media system. Observing the almost-scientific set of rules and schemes it responds to, storytelling is used as a point of departure to stage mechanisms, hierarchies and power relations that regulate the production and distribution of information. The exhibition presents works and practices by international artists which, through different media, deconstruct storytelling and interfere with the narrative structure of both dominant and peripheral stories, so as to rephrase history. By looking at the way that media operate, the artists tackle their role in shaping the collective imaginary. At the same time, the potential offered by these media is put at use to explore participative methodologies and let emerge collective and shared narratives.


ARCHIVE (Chiara Figone, Paolo Caffoni, Francesca Boenzi, Ignas Petronis) with CAN ALTAY Inventory, 2011 - ongoing Inventory is a representation of a research journey in form of an archive of publications and printed matter. Starting from a central position in Europe (Berlin), the field trip developed toward Eastern and Middle East to reach Istanbul. The project tries to dig deep into the recent past of these regions and into their heritage, in order to record an inventory of anomalies, heresies, anarchism, feminism and saw their impact on political and social structures as a possibility to question European cultural establishments and their “patriarchal” archives. The resulting Inventory, built with the contribution of a diverse range of people involved with all aspects of the publishing production cycle (artists, archivists, collectors, journalists, designers, editors, feminist and anarchist publishers, distributors and printers), represents an act of exploration as well as a source of information for researchers. For this specific occasion, Can Altay provided the display and spatial arrangement for Inventory by employing and reconfiguring structures designed for a recent exhibition titled Between Imaginaries and Encounters in Istanbul. The new setting, which serves as a place for consultation and a discursive area, acts both as “support” for the displayed publications, helping in choreographing the thematic strands, and continues a life of its own.

← Library Display


ALEKSANDRA DOMANOVIĆ 19:30, 2010-2011 Taking its title from the time slot of the evening television news programs in former Yugoslavia, Domanović’s project 19:30 is an anthology of the newscasts’ titles and theme tunes and an emerging collection of their commissioned remixes, edits, and new versions. The work began in 2010 when Domanović traveled around the former republics of Yugoslavia, visiting the television networks and national archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia. She invited techno DJs to use the collected material as samples for creating new tracks. For the project, musical themes from the first televised Yugoslavian news broadcast in 1958 up to the present were taken from national state-owned television stations. As institutions, these public stations are of particular cultural and national importance and have managed to sustain their presence in the collective consciousness, even after the arrival of private television following the fall of the socialist regime. Watching the evening news became a part of the daily routine, a must that determined the rhythm of life. The coded nature of the daily repeated music themes became deeply embedded in the national memory and part of the collective memory of several generations of viewers. The project juxtaposes the musical, historical, and psychological values of two different collective experiences: watching the evening news, which drew masses of people of all nationalities in former Yugoslavia in front of their television sets at 7:30 pm every evening, and the power electronic dance music had in the same territory to bring people together.

→ Video and sound installation; Performance/Opening Party with Timo Rohula (Berlin) Courtesy of the Artist


JOHN MENICK How To Tell A Story, 2009 How To Tell A Story is a series of eight drawings based on the appropriation by the artist of diagrams and texts found in various “how to write” manuals. Sample book subjects include how to write screenplays, romance novels, mystery novels, and science fiction novels. Sousing our spirits in nostalgic grade school memories of the building blocks of an effective story, John Menick recreates the classic narrative arc in three acts, listing examples of possible external conflicts (Lost Job, Unfaithful Lover, Sick Child, Use of Drugs) and internal ones (Loss of Religious Faith, Lack of Self-Confidence, etc.). Starting from a + b, How To Tell A Story series point to an ostensibly systematic creativity shaped by the guidance of an emotionless and uncritical tool that comes also to demonstrate the ABCs of narrative mechanics, from Hollywood to CNN.

← Series of eight drawings, graphite on paper, 47 x 61 cm each Courtesy of Olivier Babin and the artist


VLADIMIR NIKOLIC The First Murder, 2008 The idea of the first murder in Christian religion is the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, wherein Cain forcibly took the life of his brother. Whether this really happened depends on what one believes in. In a media society, as they say, that which has not been recorded by a camera has never occurred. That is to say, for an event to have the status of a real one, we require an image as proof of it. If we cross these two ideas, we arrive at the question: what is the first murder, the first real murder recorded by camera – that is, which particular murder has the status of “ur-murder” in our media society? The murder of King Aleksandar I Karadordevic on October 9th 1934 in Marseille was recorded by a camera and, thus, represents the first real “media” murder. The footage recorded in Marseille records the death of a person whose identity is well known, and that is why it has a historical significance in the domain of “newsreels”. This recording was shown throughout the world at the time it was made. Its American version was shown along with the comment: “You are about to see the most amazing pictures ever made!”. The work The First Murder is actually a reconstruction of this picture, frame by frame. The camera positions have been mapped and the images have been shot again by the artist in the contemporary Marseille. Of course, there is no murder in the reconstructed images, for the content of those images was not a priority, partly because the original film, owing to its importance, competes with the actual event that it shows, and partly because in the current media culture images often carry a greater value than the events they show.

→ Double video projection, colour and B/W, sound, 2’25” Courtesy of the artist



DAN PERJOVSCHI News On News, 2013 The artist Dan Perjovschi intervenes with his black marker on a selection of international newspapers from all over Europe that completely cover one of the walls of the gallery. Turning the newspapers into an actual physical support for his drawings, the artist makes clear the main source of inspiration for his art that, in turn, operates as sharp and ironic commentary on the news that the journals spread around the world. In these terms, Perjovschi’s intervention becomes both a statement on the state of media – from the role of information in contemporary Europe to the issue of freedom of expression and censorship – and on the medium itself: since the beginning of his career, Dan Perjovschi developed a collaboration with journals and newspapers, acknowledging their role and potential in reaching a larger audience than the art world. At the same time, his position as an artist constantly allows him to escape the medium itself and to move his critique to the walls of art and cultural institutions.

← Wall Drawing


MARINELLA SENATORE Eastman Radio Drama, 2011 Eastman Radio Drama (a radio drama in 4 chapters), developed specially for ILLUMInations, is a participatory project that involved around 500 people, including factory workers from Marghera, students from the Venetian universities, theatre groups, professional and amateur actors, drama schools, radio networks. Eastman was the name of a mobile theatre that entertained miners in the north of Spain from 1950s. The four chapters were written between Venice and Marghera, (a chemical industrial area near Venice), by factory workers, former factory workers of Marghera and their families, in partnership with the students of the IUAV and Ca’Foscari universities. The play is also based documents held by the “A. Finzi workers’ archive” – the local history centre in Marghera public library, Venice. The English version presented in How to Tell a story was performed by students of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, UK. Marinella Senatore stages a choral narration that articulates individual experiences and the shared moments represented by strikes and assemblies. The complex history of the factory, from the 1950’s till the recent years, is communicated in all its contradictions and tells the story of the community that emerged and organized around it.

→ Installation: mixed media, variable dimensions Courtesy of the Artist


JOHN SMITH The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976 «In The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voice over appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasised, we realise that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes - not prescribes - the events that take place before him. Smith embraced the “specter of narrative” (suppressed by structural film), to play word against picture and chance against order. Sharp and direct, the film anticipates the more elaborate scenarios to come; witty, many-layered, punning, but also seriously and poetically haunted by drama’s ineradicable ghost.» A.L. Rees, “A Directory of British Film & Video Artists” 1995. «In relinquishing the more subtle use of voice-over in television documentary, the film draws attention to the control and directional function of that practice: imposing, judging, creating an imaginary scene from a visual trace. This “Big Brother” is not only looking at you but ordering you about as the viewer’s identification shifts from the people in the street to the camera eye overlooking the scene. The resultant voyeurism takes on an uncanny aspect as the blandness of the scene (shot in black and white on a grey day in Hackney) contrasts with the near “magical” control identified with the voice. The most surprising effect is the ease with which representation and description turn into phantasm through the determining power of language.» Michael Maziere, “Undercut” magazine 1984.

← 16mm transferred on DVD, B/W, sound, 12’ Courtesy of Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin


IMOGEN STIDWORTHY Topography of a Voice, 2008 Topography of a Voice is an attempt to describe an accent. Recordings of the Scouse phrase “Get here!” (come here) from different neighbourhoods in Liverpool are taken through different forms of transcription/translation: phonetics (IPA), “waterfall plots” (digital visualisations produced by a sound analysis programme charting decibels, wavelength and duration), comments and reflections about the accent made Scouse speakers, and an analysis of the production of the accent by a voice trainer and dialect specialist. Recordings were made with local people, actresses learning to produce an authentic Scouse accent and recent immigrants from Somalia. The various descriptions and forms of transcription describe the physical production of the accent while exposing ideas and stereotypes born of connections made between geography, voice and subject. The samples used in Topography of a Voice are taken from a larger collection recorded for Get Here, 2006, a 10.2 surround sound composition and installation.

→ Seven offset and copperplate prints Courtesy of Matt’s Gallery, London


ADAM VAČKÁŘ Death Of A Philosopher, 2012 Filmed at the funeral of Czech dissident philosopher, playwright and later president Vaclav Havel, the film captures the striking utopian atmosphere of the mass of people carried by an idea, the memory of the velvet revolution. The spontaneous march of people to the Prague castle - the place of the funeral ceremony and the office of the Czech presidents - on the occasion of the death of Havel recalls the memory of a utopian vision of the possible change of the society and its deception. The film remains as objective as possible, avoiding the portrait or icon of Havel himself, without “humanizing” of the “toxic” (Zizek) and emotional personality of Havel. It shows a great mass of people spontaneously united by an idea of a collective memory. The film was inspired by the documentary film “Jan Palach” by French photographer Raymond Depardon, which captures the funeral atmosphere of the student who publicly burned himself to death as an act against the Soviet occupation.

← HD video, color, sound, 11’ Courtesy of Gandy Gallery, Bratislava


— How To Tell A Story has been kindly supported by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V., DEPO, How To Tell A Story is part of the project SHAREs — Informing Transnational Action Organizer and Curator: Emanuele Guidi Produced by European Alternatives With the support of the Culture Program of the European Union and Allianz Kulturstiftung. SHAREs has been kindly supported by DEPO (ISTANBUL), MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art (Roma), Teatro Valle (Roma) DAZ, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum (Berlin), Red House (Sofia). A special thanks goes to all the artists, advisors and the activists of Transeuropa Festival. More Information on www.transeuropafestival.eu — www.euroalter.com