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Deniz Tortum, Ulya Soley

“How shall we dress for the occasion?”

SAHA supports the production of the new work of Deniz Tortum and the curator of the exhibition Ulya Soley, for the group show “How shall we dress for the occasion?”, held on 10 January – 10 April 2020, presented by Protocinema at 601Artspace in New York.

Curated by Ulya Soley, mentored by Mari Spirito within Protocinema Emerging Curator Series, “How shall we dress for the occasion?” considers our obsession with future scenarios and how we try to make sense of personal mortality, technological progress and environmental collapse, simultaneously.

While technology is getting better at predicting the future, this knowledge falls short to assuage the constant confrontation of the growing impacts of climate crisis, global politics and economy. Selected and commissioned works address questions that arise as the same tools that mark our progress hasten our collapse.

ARK (2020), a video installation by Deniz Tortum and Kathyrn Hamilton, is a visual essay that positions virtual reality as a potential stand-in for immortality. While extinction may be inevitable, 3D modeling and digital technology offer a way to freeze time and disrupt its linear path. Using the literal disembodiment inherent to VR to underscore the growing sense of isolation and loss in highly digitized lives, ARK asks the viewer what is at stake when we can no longer count on eternity.

About Deniz Tortum

Deniz Tortum (Istanbul, 1989) works in film and new media. His work has screened internationally, including at the Venice Film Festival, SxSW, Sheffield, True/False and Dokufest. He has worked as a research assistant at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where he focused on virtual reality. In 2017-2018, he was a fellow at Harvard Film Study Center, working on the film Phases of Matter, which will be released in 2020. He was recently featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

About Ulya Soley

Ulya Soley works at Pera Museum as a collection supervisor and contributes to the Museum’s exhibitions and publications as a curator and editor. She completed her MA in Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, and her BA in Art History and Psychology at McGill University. Recently, she curated the digital exhibition “You Look Familiar” as part of the British Council’s Curatorial Residency Program. She is an AICA member, and co-founder of the publication project Stimuli.