Video Collage – DV Pal – colour & b/w – stereo sound – 3 mins – 2015
(A collaboration with Fatma Ciftci funded by the Artists’ International Development Fund, UK)
Beethoven vs Chopin is a short film collage constructed out of fragments of two films that share the same plot: To pio labro asteri (The most bright star), a musical produced in Greece in 1967, which was transformed into a romance, entitled Kara goslum (The black eyed one) and produced in Turkey in 1970. The two films are juxtaposed with a third film, Some Like it Hot, a comedy produced in Hollywood in 1959.
Although the Greek and Turkish films are led by two strong female stars that highlight the position of the working woman active in the pubic sphere, the short collage film focuses instead on their male protagonists that go by the nicknames of Beethoven and Chopin. In an attempt to avoid deconstructing once again the way the female body has been represented in popular cinema, Beethoven VS Chopin is concerned with a questioning of gender relationships through the exploration of masculinity from the point of view of two female artists..
Taking as a starting point a scene of masquerade, the male stars of the Greek and Turkish films are brought together through a dialogue with the cross-dressing plot in Some Like it Hot. Following the song, ‘I want to be loved by you’ that becomes the motor for the linking of lives, geographies and cultures, the two films are metamorphosed into a new one, which with a touch of irony questions the fluidity of gender positions, the construction of national identities and the relation between modernity and tradition.
Bethoven VS Chopin is a result of a collaboratively research process undertaken by visual artists Aikaterini Gegisian and Fatma Ciftci and the choice of films reflects their respective cultural backgrounds of Greek/Armenian and Turkish heritage.