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DEATH, 2021


3-channel 4K-video with sound, 20 min loop

Artist : Özgür Kar

Venue : World Travel Service

“Isn’t it all a matter of life and death? But maybe it is a matter of how far death is allowed into your life,” says an allegorical figure of Death—a skeleton reclined and trapped within the TV screen. The figure is reminiscent of a medieval character, musing, and speaking of repetitive days from the plague-ridden streets of old to those of Covid-19 where death appears as an endless barrage of images online, eternal and contemporary. The app TikTok becomes a countdown to the inevitable. It is the disturbing voice we all have inside our head, a constant chattering that silences us in view of the end of everything. A naked young man with a clarinet responds to and plays off Death, who delivers a monologue. Trapped and isolated on their separate screens in adjoining spaces, they attempt to connect. Both are monoliths without color, the figures not moving images on screen, but characters caged within the TVs that are part of their bodies and which share our dimension, inhabiting our reality. 

We are confronted with a finality we had grown accustomed to distracting ourselves from. What does our conception of death so divorced from the reality of the body do to our perception of time, when death tolls are nothing but statistics that pop in and out? DEATH and SNAKE CHARMER are part of Özgür Kar’s MACABRE series: an invitation to look at our own image in a mirror held up by death, a remedy to a world in which we have tried to deny death yet are constantly reminded of it.