Kutluğ Ataman (Bron in 1961) is a filmmaker and contemporary artist. He resides in London, England.
Kutluğ Ataman received his school education in Istanbul before doing his university studies in the US. His interest in film started an early age, and led him to do film studies at UCLA where he graduated with an MFA in 1988. He established himself as a film-maker with Serpent’s Tale (Karanlık Sular) (1994), and has gone on to make two further features: Lola+Bilidikid (1998) and 2 Girls (2005). His most recent film is Journey to the Moon” (2009). In 1997 he was invited to take part in the Istanbul Biennial with the long, documentary-style work kutluğ ataman’s semiha b. unplugged”. This was the start of an art career which has run in parallel with his career as a film-maker. He has won many awards for his films, was nominated for the 2004 Turner Prize, won the Carnegie Prize in the same year and the Capital Abraaj Prize in 2009. In 2011 he received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award. His works are in collections such as MoMA New York and the Tate, and have also been shown in the major Biennials, including Venice and São Paulo, and at Documenta.
Ataman entered the art world first in 1997 when he took part in the 5th International Istanbul Biennial where he presented “kutluğ ataman’s semiha b. unplugged” a long-form documentary of the opera diva Semiha Berksoy. Ataman was then invited to participate in the 48th Venice Biennale where he presented Women Who Wear Wigs which features four women – a revolutionary whose face remained obscured, well-known journalist and breast cancer survivor Nevval Sevindi, an anonymous devout Muslim student, and an activist and transsexual prostitute. At the prestigious Documenta 11 exhibition in Kassel, Germany Ataman presented The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read a work that was also included in Days Like These, the Tate Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary British Art 2003 at the Tate Britain. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2004 where he showed Twelve. In the same year he won the prestigious Carnegie Prize for his work Küba, a 40-channel installation filmed in a poor enclave by that name in Istanbul, in 2005.
Other notable solo exhibitions include Mesopotamian Dramaturgies at the Lentos Künstmuseum in Austria; fff at Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Paradise and Küba at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Paradise at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; De-Regulation With the Work of Kutluğ Ataman at MuHKA in Belgium; Küba at the Sorting Office in London as part of Artangel commissions; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and Long Streams at the Serpentine Gallery in London. His most recent solo exhibition, a mid-career retrospective was The Enemy Inside Me at Istanbul Modern (Nov 2010 – March 2011). Group exhibitions include the Moscow Biennial; Without Boundary, Seventeen Ways of Looking, MOMA New York; Documentary Fictions, Caixa Forum, Barcelona; Testimonies: between Fiction and Reality, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece and Manifesta 2, Luxembourg. Ataman is currently working on his new movie, South Facing Wall. The project is sponsored by Limak Holding.
His works are in major international collections, including MoMA New York, the Tate, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, the Dimitris Daskalopoulos Collection, Athens and the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh.