The Glowing Whistle Festival

From January 13. till end of the year 2007

Köken Ergun, Ho Tzu Nyen and other artists

Opening Friday 26th January from 7 pm till 11 pm,
introducing the artist Köken Ergun

Parrallel to the video "Bohemian Rapsody" by Ho Tzu Nyen now two videos by the artist Köken Ergun will be presented, namely "I, Soldier" (2005), digital video, 6 mins and "The Flag" (2006), digital video, 8 mins

Both artists are focusing on the extremes of disciplinary exercises in their own country.

While Ho Tzu Nyen’s video is describing the court trial of young men, who will be executed by hanging - in a country not functioning on a democratic basis, Köken Ergun is showing two video documentaries: the first of a soldier screaming a nationalistic military poem on the top of his lungs and the second of children celebrating the Children’s Day, by reciting aggressive patriotic poems in a stadium - this being as obligatory for primary school children as the military service is for young men.

The Istanbul/ Berlin based artist Köken Ergun: "Both of these works are an act of exorcism of my fears: I, Soldier (2005) about the fear of military discipline, and The Flag (2006) about the rising nationalism in the world, especially Europe."

Ergun about "I, Soldier": "His gestures; the energy that came out of his body, more than what he spoke about brought back all the fears I have been inhibiting in my own body; about the mandatory military service I haven't done yet, the past traumas resulting from this kind of male discipline at home or in school, and also the ever-present role of the military in the presumably civil democratic republic of Turkey. ..I have to admit that I am also amazed and somewhat fascinated by military culture, and I find its discipline beautiful and gentle in a male way.

This light minded attitude is mutual for both artists.

In an interview with November Paynter, Ergun answers the question about the role of the artist and his/her responsibilities, suggesting solutions for a troubled world or passively representing and mirroring a culture, in the search for its "own identity".

The Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen makes use of a music-historical pop song "The Bohemian Rhapsody", by building the entire scenery of the video built upon the song lyrics, in a complicated rhythm of montages from auditions.

Ho Tzu Nyen: "The lead role - of the protagonist (the boy defendant) is the one role open to an audition system. On the one hand this conflates the theme of legal judgment (which briefly escalates into spiritual judgement with the Velasquez/Bacon Cardinal) and the judgment of Director in the process of audition."

To introduce the idea of the 'Bohemian' for a society that is build on strict social control, is new to Singapore. As an invention coming from the state authority, 'bar-top dance' and 'oral sex' (sex not meant for reproduction) is now allowed, with the purpose to stimulate cultural industries.

The Glowing Whistle Festival

From January 13. till end of the year 2007

By utilizing the exhibition space as a stage to accommodate moments of authenticity - or a scripted choreography of ideas - we suggest with the festival to look at different artistic positions working within performance and other 'staged' productions.

curated by Sparwasser HQ/ Lise Nellemann


Köken Ergun:

video still from "I,Soldier" (2005), digital video, 6 mins

video still from "The Flag" (2006), digital video, 8 mins.

Köken Ergun CV

Köken Ergun interviewed by November Paynter
August 2006

Köken Ergun showed and spoke at Sparwasser HQ several times before, do have a look at Sparwasser HQ's homepage:

Placebo Effect Nov-Dec 2004

Ho Tzu Nyen:

Ho Tzu Nyen is presenting his last project "Bohemian Rhapsody", a film recently produced for the Singapore Biennal. The film is shot in the City Hall, the former Supreme Court of Singapore. Ho Tzu Nyen's work, based on the well-known Queen´s 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody, is simultaniously a court room drama (young men being sentenced to death) , a documentary of its own production as well as a vehicle that incites the spectators' participation in an exercise of mental karaoke.


Text Bohemian Rhapsody

Ho Tzu Nyen's Bohemian Rhapsody, at the Singapore Biennale

Ho Tzu Nyen showed at Sparwasser HQ several times before, do have a look at Sparwasser HQ's homepage:

An Unlikely Return to The Legend of Origins January 2006

a lecture-performance Utama- Every Name in History, March 2005

Ho Tzu Nyen CV (stand from jan 2006) and BIO (jan 2007)

Review at Augen Blaue