© The Artist


Haluk Akakce (1970 – )


Accession number


Haluk Akakce’s Blind Date (2004) is an abstract digital video work featuring what appear to be white geometric shapes appearing and disappearing on white spaces, their free-floating cubic volumes and sizes denoted by light grey shadows. The white-on-white film is a continuous loop, so the spectator approaches the piece blind as the title suggests, and without date: unable to locate the film temporally or physically. During one section, for example, vertical stripes or blocks seem to travel from the top to the bottom of the space. Because of the uniformity of the striped channels or shapes, the only way that one can discern movement is by picking out the occasional chink in the stripes, geometric cut-outs that are reminiscent of the square holes that would be cut into a key, and track their progress. One’s interpretation of this scene is constantly shifting –at times the grid like lines seems to mimic a camera shot panning down a tall skyscraper - we might be in a lift in a building across the road, perhaps, moving vertically in space. Or perhaps we are still looking at a moving lift or a pulley, albeit a minimally abstract one, scaling or descending a building. One’s perspective might just as easily shift to imagine that we are looking down from the sky at a series of white futuristic motorways, watching tiny block-like vehicles making their way through space. This shifting movement and lack of specific location creates an effect which Alex Farquharson has described as a woozy uncertainty not unlike the strange sensation of not knowing whether it is the train we’re in that has begun moving, or the one alongside us.

Akakce’s video abstracts have visual similarities with several movements and styles from the history of art –the square and rectangular geometric shapes recall at once futurism, minimalism, constructivism and op art, albeit in a cold, clinical fashion that also brings to mind slick corporate architecture, or even computer screen-savers. White block shapes push out of wall-like planes like modular IKEA units or bookshelves. Blocks occasionally appear like blanketed out headlines or newspaper layouts, but most often there is a palpable sense of cubic space and movement rather than flatness.

The works are, in fact, studies in space above all. Akakce trained as an architect, and it is certain that the influence of both technical drawing and heightened spatial awareness is evident in his abstract film work. However, what sets works like Blind Date apart from our more commonly held ideas and experiences of architecture, is the sense of weightlessness that accompany the films. Nothing matters, there is no gravity, every shape is free to move and change as it pleases. This thought, which might convey a sense of freedom in other contexts, creates, in this colourless, snow-blanketed world a sense of nihilistic depression – for in Akace’s vision we witness a lack of physical consequences that, in reality, we wouldn’t want to be without.

Alex Farquharson, Out of Time – Haluk Akakcein Frieze, Issue 81, March 2004