HEM iLERi HEM GERi, 2017

video installation | movie, screen, five chairs

“Hem İleri Hem Geri”, meaning “back and forth at the same time” in Turkish, is a time and site-specific work that starts from a random video that the artist recorded on the morning of January 1st, 2014 from a back seat of a taxi between Taksim and Maçka, on the way back home from a New Year's Eve party. The second video is a re-enactment of the first video which is recorded on the morning of January 1st, 2017. 

The time period between these two videos is the focal point of the work; what has changed between me and the city, what has changed in the city, what has changed in the life of the inhabitants of the city and also what has remained the same.
— Cansu Ergün


The route connects Taksim to Şişli and Beşiktaş, passing ‘Taksim square’, ‘Gezi Park’, the Maçka neighborhood with the view of the ‘Hilton Hotel’ that is the first modern hotel in Europe built from the ground up in the aftermath of World War II, the most central areas of the city where millions of people work and live. These areas contain most of the cultural, educational and artistic institutes of Istanbul. It has the highest intellectual capacity of the city, therefore the country. In addition to this, areas described above have the largest non-muslim population since the Ottoman times. Thus, they have always been the center of politic events, culture, trade, tourism, creativity…

In the video, all these layers of the city become visible in a personal perspective and it investigates how the political changes affected the city and its inhabitants through 3 years of time. What stayed the same, disappeared, replaced by its elements as well its people and their actions. It asks the questions about leaving and staying or if they are any different from each other.