Nazli Dincel in words (her own and others’)

By Shotgun CinemaPublished on 04/06/2017

Turkish born, Milwaukee-based filmmaker Nazli Dincel makes what she describes as “visceral and provocative handmade films that explore bodies, acts of the solitary, text, language, visual information and personal exposure.”

For further reading, you can peruse informative program notes written by Mia Ferm of Cinema Project (Portland, OR). We’re also reprinting this interview with Ms. Dincel by the Rotterdam Film Festival in which she discusses some of the main themes in her work and background. Read on below:

What is your work about?
I would like my work to function as propaganda, to in which ways individuals perceive themselves. It is generally about human consumption: bodily consumption (eating/seeing/reading), sexual consumption, and consumption as a capitalist notion. Or, rather, calling attention to how these “systems” oppresses humans.

You live and work in the United States, having a Turkish background. In which way does this influence the nature of your work?
I have moved to the US by myself at the age of 17. The change of a language/culture has made me hypersensitive in recognizing social patterns. Learning a language academically also means to reinvent a persona in that language. This is primarily why I am interested in text; I want it to function as a synesthetic experience for the viewer. To use language to make language disappear, so it can communicate as an image, as a feeling, as a thing that isn’t purely (text) itself. Solitary Acts (4, 5, 6) as well some of your previous films are made with 16mm film, not such an obvious one for an artist working with the moving image nowadays.

Why is this medium fitting, what does it give to you?
I like being able to measure/touch time physically; maybe this is also an interest in mathematics. I’m not necessarily a purist, but I cannot grasp video in the same way. I don’t know how to connect with something that exists on magnetic tape or a hard drive. I could make these films as a paintings or sculptures, but I’d want them to feel relentless and giant, taking a lot of space.

Your film Solitary Acts (4, 5, 6) is very personal dealing with teenage memories and intimate subjects like masturbation and abortion. Could you reflect on the choice to make such personal experiences part of the work?

I spend an obsessive amount of time with my work since I have to physically remove the emulsion frame by frame to create text. After a while, I start having flesh memory, the tediousness leads to meditation, and I am able to reflect while working. This act is similar to daily work in the Turkish countryside, specifically to rug making (which is disproportionately a young, female workforce). Humans process trauma while working frame­by­frame or knot­by­knot. These series are to present children’s sexualities as sexual (!), playful, positive and humorous. My self­exposure has potential to lead into positive experiences, if we could abolish genital/age differences in pleasure.

Is there something you like to say to the part of the audience that might feel uneasy with the explicit images you use?

Uneasiness or discomfort is not necessarily a negative experience. Enjoy the sensations!

Shotgun Cinema welcomes Nazli Dincel and her films to the Tigermen Den this Friday, April 7, at 8pm.

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