Infamous Library

Infamous Library, 2006-2010

Işıl Eğrikavuk

Sinopale 3, “Hidden Memories, Lost Traces”
Curator: Rana Öztürk & Vaari Claffey

In the first half of September 1980 a strange incident happened. 12 people were telephoned in the middle of the night and told to join a group referred to as Liberation Front. They were told to leave their houses immediately and that they would be picked up by a red van. They were told that this was an emergency situation.

In Infamous Library we are introduced to one of the ‘Library’ victims, March, who describes his kidnapping by Liberation Front. In order to prove his story, he shows the camera an object he brought back from captivity. Like many such accounts, March’s story somehow relates to absurd plays, especially those of Ionesco or Beckett.

The beginning of Infamous Library is familiar to us from news or documentaries: a story of torture and violence in some other country accompanied by images of terrorists, victims, survivors in pain and the dead. They are stories we read or see every day, yet we encounter them knowing that they don’t happen to us. We assume that they are real, but how do we know what is real when it does not happen next to us?

Throughout the video we go back and forth between March’s narration (in English) and his debate with the interviewer (in Turkish). In this way we shift between two alternative realities.