Zeyno Pekünlü Video Screening

Artists’ Film International 2016 Events

Thursday, September 29, 18.30

Istanbul Modern, Multipurpose Hall

Istanbul Modern is hosting the Artists’ Film International in its Pop-Up Exhibition Area. A program focusing on the moving image, Artists’ Film International brings videos, animations, and short films by artists from around the world to Istanbul. On the theme of “technology”, the 2016 exhibition features 13 artists from different countries, including Zeyno Pekünlü from Turkey with her video collage “How to properly touch a girl so you don’t creep her out?”. In parallel to the exhibition, five videos produced by Pekünlü between 2012-2015 will be screened in the Multipurpose Hall next to the exhibition area. Following the screening, the artist and the exhibition curator will be present for the Q & A with the audience.

The event is free of charge. All videos have English subtitles.


Screening Program:




A Bathroom of One’s Own, 2015

Zapata in Istanbul, 2013

Man to Man, 2012

Don’t let anyone hear!, 2012

Same Old Song, 2012



Color Video (found footage), 17’20’’, 2015

The video A Bathroom of One’s Own sneaks into men’s bathrooms and takes a peek into their intimate moments, which they voluntarily share on an open web platform. The work is a collage of various homemade videos that ordinary users upload on YouTube to share their experience about how to comb, dry, shape and style their hair. Not only do these men, who show hair style techniques for minutes in front of the camera, stage an imposing performance of casual information, but they also invite us to look through their peephole to observe the fragility and eroticism of manhood which is equated with power.



Color Video, 17’39

Turkey-Mexico, 2013

The video is a thrilling story of bureaucrats who managed to build a well dressed, nicely shaved Emiliano Zapata bust in one of the posh neighborhoods of Istanbul. The video consists of interviews with historians, bureaucrats and ordinary people and Zapata representations in fictional movies. It focuses on the hero exchange between two historically unrelated countries, the bureaucracy behind it and the representation and perception of the national heroes.



B&W video, 5’32’’, 2012

Man to Manis a found footage work that is compiled of scenes from over a hundred melodramas shot between 1950-1980. The representation of women and two-dimensional cliché characters are widely analyzed in feminist studies. Through these studies we know that whatever happens to men (whether good or evil) is a result of women’s actions. So what happens when the woman is not around? What do men do when they are alone? Man to Man is an informal investigation into these questions. On the one hand it is a statistical investigation where repetitive actions are collected in direct proportion to their repetition in a sample group of 150 movies. On the other hand it is a fiction about manly relationships.



B&W video, 2’10’’, 2012

Don’t let anyone hear! is a collage video formed of scenes from Turkish melodramas. In the video we can observe men sending signs to women to try and arrange a date without using any sounds or words. This is a common phenomenon in Turkey where the relation between unmarried men and women is not approved of and they are forced to meet secretly. 



Color Video, 1’55’’, 2012

In the video Same Old Song, we watch a waving Turkish flag between twin skyscrapers, over one of the so-called urban renovation and demolition areas of İstanbul’s Tarlabaşı district.  In the image we can witness the contrast between the upper-middle-class lifestyle, which is symbolized by the skyscraper and the Turkish flag, and the lower-class area we see at the bottom of the frame where outcasts of the city mostly live. The sound of the video is a re-arrangement of the musical notes of the Turkish National Anthem from the longest to the shortest note.