In a Manner of Speaking

In a Manner of Speaking is a two-channel video installation about the limits of language and the impossibility of perfect communication. In the first video, a live-action video and its stop-motion reenactment are juxtaposed. The divergence between the two videos is a metaphor for the imperfect translation of thoughts into language. The second video reveals the process of creating the stop-motion video. In this part, the performer is directed frame-by-frame, in order to match her movements from the live-action video. A stop-motion software is used to overlay the live video on the original footage. This way, the same movement is meticulously recreated in the exact same amount of frames. Looking at the overlaid image, the artist describes the performer how she should position herself. During this process, the artist struggles to verbalize what she sees on the screen because there exists no words for tiny movements of the body or trivial gestures on the face. The production video gives a good example of language failing to express what is in the mind. Therefore, it becomes a metatext of the piece, offering a clear reading of the concept.

Two channels in full length below:

Words from Curators

In her two-channel video installation In a Manner of Speaking (2012), Beyza Boyacioglu attempts to dictate the precise position and quality of movements of a pre-recorded gesture to an actress. On a large screen, a two-channel loop juxtaposes the same actress eating an apple in real time, and the stop motion re-enactment of the same action of eating the apple, side by side. As the actress shudders and jerks through one half of the diptych and gracefully shifts another, a second monitor in the corner reveals the live production of the stop-motion video. Much like a magician revealing the hidden rabbit in the hat, Boyacioglu lays her method bare by quietly remarking: »No, move the lemon a little to the left… to the right… A little higher… Can you drop your elbow a little? No… no… Okay, that’s perfect.« The gesture of eating takes place at the same location of the body as Boyacioglu’s dictation – her mouth – but the direction is inverted. The work focuses on its own failure of re-production.

Yulia Startsev – Curator of Keep Taking it Apart at Note On, Berlin

Beyza Boyacioglu’s video installation ‘In a Manner of Speaking’ comprises three distinct components: in the first live-action video, a woman performs simple, fluid movements. In an adjacent version, she parses and simulates them frame-by-frame-thousands of independent postures are strung together in a composite stop-motion stutter. Another screen operates as a meta text, exposing the artist behind the camera, instructing her actress to mimic, in isolated fragments, her prerecorded gestures: “Move the lemon a little to the left… Then you look a little down from the camera. A little more. Something like that… Can you make it a little more open? More… a little higher?” This exacting and circuitous self-scrutiny yields a reconstruction which, played back at speed, fully demonstrates its artifice replete with trembling, anxious fits and starts.

Keagan Sparks – Curator of Prolonged Exposure at The Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn

In her two-channel video installation “In a Manner of Speaking” Beyza Boyacioglu explores the limits of language and the impossibility of perfect communication. A projection juxtaposes a video of an actor eating an apple and its stop-motion reenactment side by side. This pairing serves as the artist’s representation of the gap between thought and language. A second video, displayed on a monitor next to the projection, shows the actual production process of the stop-motion animation. Here the artist struggles to direct the performer frame by frame; and the lack of precise words to describe the actor’s subtle movements makes it futile to recreate the live-action video in a frame-by-frame animation. While the projection comments on the relationship between ideas and words, the second video offers a practical demonstration of this concept. Boyacioglu is a graduate of the MFA Computer Art Department at School of Visual Arts.

Richard Brooks – Curator of Between Two Thoughts at Visual Arts Gallery, New York

In a Manner of Speaking © 2012 Beyza Boyacioglu