Sarkis – The speed of colours

So, Saturday I was in Berlin checking heidenstrasse out and after visiting the great tribute exhibition ‘Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus’ at Edition block, I ended up stuck at Tanas art space for quite a little while, completely  absorbed by all the films from great Turkish artist Sarkis, who lives and works in Paris since 1964. I wish I could show you the films but I can only show you some pictures of them and recommend you to go and see for yourself if you are in the neighborhood before 14 Mai 2011.


Sarkis - Film n° 017 - "Au commencement, la chambre" 25.12.1997 : 3 minutes 7 seconds.

The left hand enter the picture and shows on its palm the drawing in watercolour of “the room of Krutenau street”. The right hand enters then the picture to paint red flames on the room, which slowly vanishes under the flames.

Film n° 019 « au commencement, l'aura », 28.12.1997 : 3 minutes 53 seconds.

A white bowl full of water lays next a reproduction of the “Resurrection of Jesus Christ” by Mantegna. The left hand enters the picture with a paintbrush and attempts to draw in the water the aura that surrounds Jesus on the reproduction.

Film n° 022 « au commencement, le trésor », 14.1.1998 : 4 minutes 30 seconds

The twelve letters of the word KRIEGSSCHATZ  are written down on a white piece of paper. A left hand painted in red enters the image. A right hand holding a paintbrush follows and dip it on the paint on the left hand to draw flames on each letter of KRIEGSSCHATZ so that the word becomes virtually unreadable.

The art space Tanas explains the importance of the word KRIEGSSCHATZ for Sarkis work:

His works generate a rich fund of visual impressions that Sarkis describes as “Kriegsschatz”, cultural-historical spoils of war, but also – with a nod to the German art and cultural historian Aby Warburg (1866 – 1929) – as “Leidschatz”, a storehouse of images where emotions from past and present are stored. Sarkis consequently understands his role as artist as that of a seismograph whose task it is to register the mnemonic waves of an emotionally turbulent world and keep them vividly alive in memory.


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