Deniz Johns

Deniz Johns

My artistic practice in film and video engages critically with problems of how political realities are represented, while also exploring the politics of representation as such.

Politics has always been a major concern in my creative practice: initially in dance and physical theatre, and since 2006 as part of my main area of practice: film and video. However, I’m not only interested in representing the political actuality, rather, I’m interested in the politics of representing that actuality. In that sense, the focus of my attention is on the political implications of film’s construction, and particularly on the relationship between the film/video work and its viewer. My work aims to be reflexive and critical of its own making process, to open up a dialectical space for the viewer to engage with the work. Both of the videos I’m sharing here are outcomes of my practice-based PhD project, which establishes the aesthetic terms of an experimental political cinema practice that is ethically and politically true to the political position it takes.

Deniz Johns is a film and video artist and practice-based researcher. Before receiving her MA from the Royal College of Art in 2012, she studied film, choreography, theatre and linguistics in Turkey, Poland, Japan and the UK. She is currently undertaking her PhD by practice, which revolves around modes of political aesthetics and filmic constructions in experimental film and video in Britain. Her work has been shown in national and international venues including: CineCycle, Toronto; Goethe Institute, Ankara; Whitechapel Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Close-up Film Centre and the Roundhouse, London. She is a founding member of collective-iz, which is a London-based artist collective working within the context of experimental film, video and performance.

Media Blackout I

HD Video / 04:00 min / 2016

Media Blackout I is part of a series of works Deniz Johns is currently undertaking as part of her research, which revolves around models of political aesthetics and filmic constructions in experimental film and video. The series is prompted by actual media blackouts carried out in Turkey following several suicide attacks. Media Blackout I addresses the impossibility of knowing such political realities through watching videos about them.

Media Blackout III

HD Video / 03:00 min / 2018

Media Blackout III is the third and final piece of the Media Blackout Series. It is a moving image work that is constructed out of 2402 still images created on a smartphone and is meant to be screened on loop, on a flat screen monitor in the portrait orientation, resembling a smartphone screen.