Hamam


2001, Video Installation
, 20’03”

Developed for a Turkish bath in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv

 

In her search for an alternative to the official voice, Ersen also explores the value of small talk. She examines the in-between quality of such conversations, which stand somewhere between the intimate and the pedestrian, the public and the private. In her video installation Hamam (2001), she conceived and provided a viewing room that made available to the audience a traditionally gender-exclusive space in which two women are partaking in endless, careless chitchat about everything and nothing. What begins as a casual conversation piece ends up being a critical consideration of the social space created by interpersonal communication. It is a space where, in this case, a private moment is bouncing into the display of public selves, where intimacy is broken and exposed to the audience's indiscreet and inquisitive gaze.