Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Mayhem (2011)
In Mayhem, Ataman transports us to another Mesopotamia – ?la Mesopotamia? in Argentina, itself located between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers. Here, in what Ataman describes as an “alternative promised land”, we are confronted by the spectacular and chaotic energy of the Iguazu Falls. In what he refers to as a direct response to the uprisings taking place in his own region, Ataman casts water as both a cleansing and destructive force. Just as water shapes and transforms nature, the Arab Spring is sweeping aside old structures and allowing new ones to evolve.
Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Su (2009)
Su takes it’s name from the Turkish word for water. It was filmed over a year, and illustrates the different moods of the Bosphorus strait, the narrow strip of water that separates Europe from Asia. Formed of two split-screen installations, each a mirror image of the other, Su calls to mind the fluid, constantly changing nature of geographical boundaries. As visitors enter, they are met with one of the key phrases of Islam – “There is no God but Allah” – written in cuneiform script, superimposed onto the shifting waters. In one screen the text is reversed, as it is in some mosques in Turkey.
In Su, two realms often thought of as separate and opposite, are united.