Old House, 1999, video 30 min.
The video film entitled Old House was made by the artist at
the request of Haci Ceyhan, a Turkish shop owner from Rotterdam.
He wanted to show the town in which he lives to his family
back in Turkey by sending them a video film about the town.
The film was shot while they were riding in a car through
town, mostly around Rotterdam. Haci instructed the artist
to record what he was going to show her together with his
running commentary. The artist said that she tried to become
his eyes and follow his intentions. In the film Haci presents
the town in which he lives mostly to a Turkish audience, yet
also from the viewpoint of what would interest a casual tourist
the most. He presents four Turkish banks, the Turkish Embassy,
some of the old and prominent buildings, museums and also
the newly built bridge. All of this is presented with the
characteristic distance of an immigrant and even with a hint
of pride, at least regarding the new bridge over which they
ride several times. The viewer also has a chance to visit
his shop; and, at the very end of the film, Haci takes the
artist to a Turkish bakery shop to taste the bread. And so
ends a topography of the town of Rotterdam through the eyes
of a Turkish immigrant. In her work, Nasrin Tabatabai did
not dwell on her own ideas, but tried to achieve the intentions
of the shop owner. The final process is not the embodiment
of her idea, but above all the connection that was established
throughout the process of shooting the video. When the patterns
of ideas and movements of different people take place at the
same time, then it is no longer clear who caused and who created
these thoughts. The artist believes that the completed task
becomes a kind of synonym of cooperation. With this kind of
work method the borders which people often introduce in their
work, or the feelings toward others, are obliterated so that
genuine relationships can be established.