CITY AND CAMERA
BY UĞUR KUTAY
June 24th Thursday, 6 pm, Akbank Sanat
In the workshop ”City and Camera”, Uğur Kutay, a documentary filmmaker, academician and the author of the books “Andrei's Gaze: Psychiatric-Semiotics Expansion in Tarkovsky Film" (2004) and “Camera Kills the Real: Documentary and Reality" (2009) will compare the gaze of the documentary cinema towards the city in the early 20th century (in the silent film era) and the gaze it holds today, via various examples from the films.
“As a product of modernity, cinema’s first move was to turn the objective to the streets of the city. Examples like “ The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station”, “ Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory” had actually been a manifestation of the desire to capture the movement with this technology of the “moving image”. That was a traumatic desire that marked the first quarter of the 20th century. It was trumatic, because during that 25 years, there had been a consumption of energy more than ever been in the history of humankind, and the movement created by this energy had rapidly transformed the daily life with all its aspects – from transportation to politics, from communication to ways of entertainment, education and nutritional habits. Hence, objectives had been directed towards the cities as the center of the movement, and captured frames of praise for such movement and light.
Interestingly enough, during the second half of the same century there had been quite a transformation, and the cameras started depicting the cities as the spaces of blackhole that need to be fled just because of that hustle that is inherent to the “city”.
It is important to trace this transformation in the camera’s gaze towards the city, since this way, we could have a chance to see the changes at once - of the cities, of societies, and also of the experience of the cinematic gaze.”