National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens
99 Names

Kutlug Ataman

99 Names


The work is displayed as part of the permanent exhibition

Audiovisual Media

Video installation

5 DVD, 5 screen projections
Variable dimensions
Edition 2/5
Purchased in 2003
Inv. No. 487/03

Kutlug Ataman has been distinguished for his works in which he brings together fiction, documentary, film, and video art to illuminate various aspects of the lives of individuals on the margins of society, whom he treats as extensions of himself. Ataman’s artistic practice exploits the structural features of each chosen medium of representation to permeate the characters, lives, obsessions, and motives of the people populating his often lengthy video portraits. 99 Names is a distinct installation in Ataman’s work as it is based on the sculptural manipulation of five video projections featuring a praying man. The work’s title refers to the 99 names and attributes of God mentioned in the Qur’an and the Hadith Islamic tradition. Within the realm of Sufi Islamic mysticism, the repetitive vocalization of God’s names constitutes an act of prayer. Through the use of a rotating shooting angle and the ascending arrangement of the installation screens —combined with the escalating intensity of the man’s prayer— the work refers to religious ecstasy, an experience which is both spiritual and physical.
Stamatis Schizakis, text from the permanent exhibition guide ENTER EMST : Collection & History, A short guide, 2020

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