Born in 1976 in (Turkey)
Lives and works in (Turkey )
Liste expositions


Berat Işık, a young Turkish artist of Kurdish origin, was born in 1976 in Diyarbakır, in the southeastern region of Turkey, where a large Kurdish community is based. After studying painting at the University of Dicle, and sitting the national exam, he started work as a drawing teacher in the secondary schools of his region, alongside his artistic activity. He now lives and works in his hometown.

From his first works, Dancer in the Dark (2003), Psycho (2001) and Eyes Wide Shut (2001) for which he was awarded an excellence award at the 23rd Exhibition of Contemporary Artists in 2004, Işık focused on video as his sole artistic medium. With the exception of his documentary, Where bluebirds fly (2008), his films are short – never more than a few minutes long. He systematically borrows their titles from films or pop songs from Western culture. He completely changes their content, setting the action in an unconventional context that sometimes borders on the absurd, without hesitating to combine modern and traditional elements. Berat Işık’s videos are often underpinned with black humour, questioning the influence of popular culture on the collective memory. He views contemporary society with a critical eye and highlights the sensitive position in which the Kurdish minority in Turkey finds itself.

As though refusing the hegemony of the industry that imposes an aesthetic that is too picture-perfect, Işık does not correct certain technical “flaws” in his videos: the camera trembles and there is no wind microphone in Stop! You are surrounded (2004), the framing of Wish you were here (2004) is too tight, at the end of Dancer in the Dark (2003) the soundtrack is brutally cut. These elements intentionally left on the tapes highlight the resistance that the artist manifests against the micro-managing of culture, as well as the urgency and necessity with which these works are produced.

His videos have been shown in many exhibitions and festivals, namely at Placebo Effect in Berlin in 2004, Free Kick in Istanbul in 2005 and during the Film Festival of Istanbul in 2009.

Yekhan Pinarligil