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KUBA: Kutlag Ataman

(2007) KUBA: Kutlag Ataman

Record type: Art Design Item


KÜBA reveals the lives of forty residents in one of Istanbul's most impenetrable ghettos. Their remarkable stories are told across forty separate films, shown on old televisions dispersed throughout Court 1 of Southampton’s magnificent former Magistrates’ Courts. Taking a seat in front of one film to the next, you can meet each resident face to face - from Guler the wife hiding terrible secrets, to Soner the film buff who loves 'Notting Hill' or Erol the loner, fascinated by birds but caught in a spiral of violence. Set against the gravitas of the court room, these tales of pain, suffering, humour and compassion gain even greater significance.

Turner Prize-nominated artist and film-maker Kutlug Ataman spent a year exploring KÜBA, an area of makeshift hut dwellings made of cheap materials, scrap metal and soil, squeezed in the midst of Istanbul’s low-income suburban blocks. KÜBA is home to non-conformists of diverse ethnicity, religion and political persuasion, united in their defiant resistance of state control. Despite the extreme poverty of their surroundings, the residents of KÜBA are bound by a web of community values that embrace personal freedom and mutual tolerance. A thief from KÜBA will never steal from his neighbours nor will a murderer harm them. Children are precious and valued, food is common property and a family will not be allowed to go without.

Through the stories of each resident, visitors can build a picture of KÜBA both as a place, and a state of mind. For living in KÜBA – above all else – defines each inhabitant’s sense of identity, regardless of background or belief. If you’re from KÜBA, then that is enough.

KÜBA first appeared in Pittsburgh in 2004, winning the prestigious Carnegie Prize. Having since travelled to Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium and within the UK, its global journey concludes in Southampton. KÜBA is the first exhibition to take place in Southampton’s former Magistrates’ Courts, which have remained mostly closed to the public since the 1990s. The Courts are part of the Grade II Listed Civic Centre, built between 1930 and 1936. All original court furniture is utilised within the exhibition

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Accepted/In Press date: 2007
Additional Information: KÜBA was commissioned and produced by Artangel, organised in partnership with the John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton. Supported by Southampton City Council.Visit for more information.
Organisations: Winchester School of Art, Professional Services


Local EPrints ID: 210783
PURE UUID: d8722cdf-26e7-40e8-923f-33a1efb443e6

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Date deposited: 23 Mar 2012 09:27
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:45

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Curator of an exhibition: Stephen Foster
Curator of an exhibition: Michael Morris

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