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replaying home

video installation

In the early 1980s, first Betamax and then VHS video recorders had become widespread in Germany and in a very short time they were also well accepted by many Turkish immigrants there. The lack of sufficient German language skills, as well as the fact that the content of German television broadcasting was not targeting the Turkish audience at all, led Turkish immigrants increasingly to rent videotapes. The video nights were a sort of social event including neighbours and family. Watching videos was accepted as a pleasant and family-friendly alternative to going out and getting attached to German-dominated cultural life.

In order to take part in that growing market, a lot of Turkish video companies opened up in Germany. These companies had their own studios and were responsible for the transfer of imported movies to videotapes. They packaged and distributed the tapes to Turkish video rental shops in German cities. Some of these studios also produced low-budget video movies by themselves targeting the Turkish audience in Germany. Due to digital revolution, these companies were not able compete against digital TV and online videos and closed one after another. Some of the movies which were only released on videotapes, are now in danger of disappearing forever.

The installation Replaying Home recreates the “video corner” of an anonymous Turkish family and presents therein a found-footage video. The video includes selected cuts from smuggled videotapes such as the Turkish movies shot in Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, commercial films of German-based Turkish video studios, movie trailers and title animations. The installation offers a one-on-one experience, where the visitor’s role shifts between spectator and family guest. Replaying Home invites the viewer on a journey through a fictive universe based on stereotypes, Occidentalism and the traumas of migrant life.

More about the work you will find here

replaying home video tapes culture smuggling turkey germany gastarbeiter found footage can sungu