Video Art Program[The 47th Program] Santiago Mostyn

May Day 2012/ May Day 2013, 2013, color, 4 min. 14 sec.

In May 2012 in Istanbul, Santiago Mostyn posed as a typical foreign tourist with a camera, and walked Istanbul’s main thoroughfares and bazaars pointing and shooting at municipal security cameras, later extracting the footage and editing into a video piece.

One year later, however, the same streets that Mostyn had walked were the site of massive street demonstrations. They were captured on the same security cameras that had recorded the artist. A sea of protesters pushed forward, and the police beat them back. A short distance away, however, in a seaside park, things looked just as tranquil in one year as they did in the other.
The security camera, normally used to prevent or prosecute crimes, here serves to juxtapose the everyday bustle of a city full of tourists and the turmoil of a political uprising. Seeing this politically turbulent side of a city like Istanbul, which you may know primarily as a distant exotic tourist destination, you recognize afresh that it is a city where people live out their lives, just like where you live.

Santiago Mostyn:
Santiago Mostyn was born in 1981 in San Francisco, USA and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. He earned a BA in Art from Yale University in 2004 and an MA from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm in 2013. Mostyn has held solo exhibitions at venues including Public Art Installation by 14×, New York (USA), Platform (Sweden) and Kunsthall Stavanger (Norway), and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. He travels the world and creates and exhibits work that arises from his experiences, centered on photography but also including video, installations and other forms.