Kutlug Ataman

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Kutlug Ataman, a winner of this year’s Abraaj Capital Art Prize, recently awarded at Art Dubai, recorded a performance entitled Strange Space using himself as subject wandering through the desert blindfolded and barefoot. The performance, part of his most recent project Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, was inspired by a classical Mesopotamian folk tale, in which the hero is blinded by the love of the female character and condemned to walk the desert searching for her, only to burst into flames when they finally encounter one another. Ataman uses this ancient tale to symbolize the coming together of East and West, or as the fair’s catalogue states, “as a metaphor for the encounter of modernity and tradition, for their reciprocal attraction and the trauma this attraction may cause.”