Deniz Sözen

SURYA NAMAZ

1/8

Video Installation, 2018 

Surya Namaz, HD video, 10 min 37 s 

On Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga, Interview with my yoga teacher Marisol, HD video, 11 min 53 s 

On Namaz, the Muslim Prayer Ritual, interview with my aunt, 

HD video, 9 min 14 s 

 

Exhibited: Deniz Soezen: The Art of Un-Belonging. London Gallery West, 2018 

                 Hyphen, group exhibition, Ambika P3, London, 2019

Awarded the runner-up prize in the 2019 BAFTSS Practice Awards, Best Practice Research Portfolio
(Audio visual and installation).

The experimental video ‘Surya Namaz’ explores the practices of yoga and namaz, the Muslim prayer ritual, through a personal and multi-lingual narrative, destabilizing fixed notions of belonging and identity through opacity and transcultural embodiment. 

The main protagonists are the artist, her aunt Ümit, a devout Muslim woman who lives in Konya, Turkey and her New York-born Nigerian-Puerto-Rican yoga teacher Marisol Figueroa Reitze who is currently based in Solothurn, Switzerland. Alongside the multi-lingual voice-over (English, German, Turkish, Arabic and Sanskrit), filmic and sonic techniques, such as superimposition and partial translation are used to articulate the complexities of these trans-cultural encounters. Through putting the culturally distinct practices of yoga, namaz and Catholic Church rituals into relation with each other, the video simultaneously hybridizes these ritualistic practices and interconnects them in rhizomatic ways, challenging dualistic thinking and assumptions of a singular root, by promoting a philosophy of multiple belongings. 

Interviews with the main protagonists, the yoga teacher Marisol and Deniz’s aunt Ümit  are shown on smaller monitors with headphones as appendix to the main projection.