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Passing On II

009_07 / 29 January 2016


Nancy Atakan

Passing on II


4"12' double channel video


In 1980, my first Turkish gymnastic teacher gave me a tape of herself performing movements she had developed throughout her life. Her classes influenced the type of exercise I later chose and I treasured her video. From her numerous exercises, I selected four movements and taught them to my daughter-in-laws, my granddaughters, her former students and my current Pilates teachers. Shot from above, the resulting meditative video is a metaphor for the way we look up to role models for inspiration, exert effort to transform what we are taught into our individual versions, and then pass these on to others.

About the author

Nancy Atakan

Nancy Atakan has been a resident of Istanbul since 1969, working as an artist, teacher, art historian, and art critic. Originally a painter and sculptor, in the early 90s she began developing a multimedia approach encompassing photography, text and video. Over the last decade, the artists grouped by Nicolas Bourriaud under the term Relational Aesthetics have increasingly influenced Atakan's practice. While each of her works investigate broader topics within the different manners and contexts in which people interact, she often incorporates elements such as reccurring autobiographical references to Istanbul, her adopted home.


Major exhibitions include: Sporting Chances (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2016); Little Faces, Big Bodies, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Stay With Me, Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Germany (2015); 40 videos from 40 years of video art in Turkey, 25th Ankara International Film Festival, Goethe Institute, Turkey (2014); Me, Myself and I: ME as a Dilemma, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey (2013); The Armory Show (curated by The Moving Image), New York, USA (2012); and Dream and Reality – Modern and Contemporary Women Artists from Turkey, Istanbul Modern, Turkey (2011).