Transart MFA student Allen Ferguson is artist in residence at Halka
Artist describes his project idea as follow: I want to rapidly shoot a film inspired by the heyday of Yeşilçam Street in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul and its rapid fire production (250-350 films a year at one point); also nodding to Ceylans casting of mostly non-actors and using simple available locations throughout Istanbul. Inspiration for style come from the Takashi Miike directed Television Production “MPD: Psycho” – an often nonsensical, convoluted, and often inverted and doubled take on the modern city police drama. In my film, students, professors, program founders, academic advisors and research advisors of a radical, secretive, low-residency MFA program duel in a battle of wits, public shaming, ego battles, private blackmailing and publicly framing each other for acts of vandalism, graffitti and public, extreme acts of performance art, forced film screenings and public art interventions on a magnificent scale. Impersonating eachother near-constantly their interventions often end up slandering themselves, “art through character assassination”. Afterwards they gather for scathing critiques of eachother, themselves, and the process and structure of the program itself in a ritualistic sauna. Not even the founders are revealed and the system is truly classless with the rules being enforced by the group as a whole. As graduation approaches their “1 year projects” must outdo all others in a manner in and of itself and its a race to the extremes of art-speak verbosity and cinematic spectacle. The film wrestles with the idea that the art world has created a language to discuss itself and that this language may very well be the only interesting space left to create within, a “ghost in the shell”. Textual inspiration will come from Derridas “Glas”, Baudrillards “Simulacra and Simulation”, Arenas “Nonsense as the Meaning”, Nietzches “Der-Antichrist” and Gaddis “Agape Agape”. There will be subtle homages (“simulations left to madly proliferate on their own”, Baudrillard) to many films historically shot in Istanbul, including the Yesilcam Street homage versions of older films such as Dracula, Tarzan, Rambo, etc, the heist scene in Topkapi, the madness of “From Russia With Love”, the darkness of “Midnight Express”, and the melancholia of “Uzak”. I will being scouring the internet for my limited cast upon acceptance to the residency, if I am chosen. I will serve as cinematographer/director/editor and have a limited supporting role acting. We can screen the film at your wonderful gallery after it is edited. I have a long history of rapid digital film production – I have shot and edited an entire film concert into an hour and a half anthropological documentary in 3 days. I think the film, while ambitious, is definitely possible to shoot in my time at the residency. I may also have several artists from around the world shoot their own parts and share them with me through the internet to make up any gaps.