Erdem Taşdelen

Last summer, the Turkish artist Erdem Taşdelen began using a Blackmagic pocket camera to film whatever was around him. Over the course of a year, he shot one hundred clips, each around a minute long, in Toronto, Vancouver, and London. A Moving Target, 2021–22, a video compiling these unspectacular B-roll-like segments, depicts, among other things, a traffic light turning from green to red, a nondescript car park surrounded by fences, a utility pole graffitied with the words NOTHING TO DO NOWHERE TO GO, and an empty orange paddle boat sitting in the rain. Taşdelen has collated his moments into groups of ten; an algorithm randomly picks one segment from each group, re-montaging a different hundred-minute-long feature film in each iteration. Subtle, barely-there narratives emerge through juxtapositions of fragments: a bed bathed in morning light, a shadowy figure swinging back and forth in a park at night.

Unmade Films, 2022, comprises thirteen posters that ostensibly advertise movies of ranging taste: Sundance-independent, European-arthouse, big-budget Oscar bait. The sleekly designed posters reproduce frames from A Moving Target; where production credits would normally go, Taşdelen has inserted all-caps diatribes. The poster for “Europium” excoriates an author (Elena Ferrante?) for writing with a pseudonym: “IF YOU DON’T REVEAL YOURSELF RIGHT HERE THIS MINUTE WE WILL EACH OF US IMPLODE ONE BY ONE,” it reads: “THIS MUCH YOU OWE US US WHO HAVE COME WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU’VE ROAMED THRONGS OF BRILLIANT FRIENDS.” The poster for Into A Hollow Sky, another “film by Erdem Taşdelen,” mocks writing tips; F*ck Love enjoins writers to “EVALUATE THE PARTICULAR AND AVOID GENERALIZATIONS.” Via these tongue-in-cheek inquiries into narratology, Taşdelen invites viewers to invent stories, reject fixed frameworks, and turn from beholders into authors.

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