Ahmet Öğüt, Artists Making Music, 2021. Film with music by Sub-Botnick (Ahmet Öğüt & Maru Mushtrieva). Duration: 25 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Protocinema, Istanbul and New York. Image courtesy of the artist and Protocinema, Istanbul and New York
Artists Making Music
On May 18, 2021, the conceptual artist Ahmet Öğüt premiered his new film, Artists Making Music, taking viewers on a journey through the recent history of music made by visual artists. In addition to a new original soundtrack by Sub-Botnick (Ahmet Öğüt & Maru Mushtrieva), the work features sequences from music videos made by international artists over the past forty-five years, the earliest from the collaboration between Art and Language and The Red Krayola in 1976. Other artists featured include Kim Gordon, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nástio Mosquito, Alexandra Pirici, Pipilotti Rist, Raed Yassin, Laibach, Rodney Graham, Isabel Lewis, Cevdet Erek, Mariechen Danz, Hassan Khan, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Nathaniel Mellors, writer Dan Fox, and curator Sohrab Mohebbi.
Artists Making Music is the second in an ongoing series of essay documentaries initiated by the artist in 2020, which shares artists making artworks in specific conditions, formats, and times. Öğüt’s first video in the series, Artworks Made at Home, portrays a lineage of artists making art in domestic settings. Öğüt’s essay documentary series bring together several aspects of his practice, such as collaboration (Happy Together; Collaborators Collaborating, 2015), knowledge sharing (The Silent University, 2021–ongoing), and inspiring others to take their own actions (Bakunin’s Barricade, 2015–20).
Following the screening, Öğüt participated in a Q&A with Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, vice president for global artistic programs and director of Asia Society Museum.
Performance duration: Approx. 18 minutes
Music by Sub-Botnick (Ahmet Öğüt & Maru Mushtrieva)
Citation: Jörg Heiser, Double Lives in Art and Pop Music (Sternberg Press, 2019)
Ahmet Öğüt is an internationally recognized conceptual artist whose practice embraces many different media. His work focuses on complex sociocultural issues, including migration and civil unrest. Öğüt’s frequent cross-disciplinary collaborations outside the art world create innovative ways to tackle complex topics while often incorporating humor.
In the musical interventions of Sub-Botnick, Öğüt and Mushtrieva mix psychedelic, retro-futuristic, and synth-punk music, occasionally reinterpreting old folk instruments. The name Sub-Botnick is derived from two similar-sounding yet completely contrary terms: from the Russian word “subbotnik,” which describes the initially voluntary, but later often-imposed civilian national service in the Eastern Bloc, and from Morton Subotnick, a pioneer of electronic music and founding member of California Institute of the Arts.
Co-commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, and Protocinema, Istanbul, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.