Video 3 min, 1998
There is a central theme in all the works of Songül Boyraz, and this central theme actually combines two questions: To what extent can the human body still be regarded and described as a membrane, that is, an intersection between the body as an area of experience and the body as a medium of articulation? Songül Boyraz doesn`t only primarily work in the field of video art but also derives the second question from this medium. It is based on the proposition that video, just like other visual media, doesn`t only have to be investigated as far as its function of visualisation and representation are concerned, but also as the space immanent to the medium and its format is regarded.
A number of her works are based on the fragmentation and fragmentability of the human body by the eye of the medium. Single parts of the body like eye or mouth or eyes or mouths of different people are isolated and fragmentized and made a fetish of in the sense of a pars pro toto: How much can the single eye say about the rest of the body remaining in the hors champ? What does concentrating on the isolated mouth of the person reveal? The fragment conceals the remaining whole.
If it is one of Songül Boyraz’s central themes to concentrate on the human body and its visual representations in a room much of the tension is created by the paradox that only the process of alienation through visual comprehension reveals the possibility of portrayal and representation as an immanent quality the process is visualizing. When Songül Boyraz operates with feelings like fear, claustrophobia, speechlessness and instability these feelings also refer to the process of experiencing political power structures, which are portrayed, so to say, in the light of bodily and spatial shifts and vibrations.