Critical Writing Index

Koken Ergun: Personal Works of Public Ceremonies

by Ian White

Labyrinth of Memory, Fall 2009

This essay describes Ergun’s use of ritual, and his attempt to occupy a position between viewing them as either socially or spiritually significant or as merely empty. Ergun examines the act itself, in opposition to the approach he feels most typified by Leni Riefenstahl, who similarly documented ritual, but in a way that adopted the ritual’s perceived sense of cultural significance, almost to the point of abstraction. Ergun, on the other hand, attempts to maintain a more dispassionate approach, and through this emotional distance, he comes to focus more on the performers’ coming together through a shared act, performing a role. Through this removal of the trappings of context and intent, we are shown individuals in moments of intimacy and surrender to the community they have created with one another.

ITEM 2009.139 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

The FlagKoken Ergun

I, SoldierKoken Ergun

OlympiaLeni Riefenstahl