• The City
    Rossella Biscotti

Rossella Biscotti, “The City,” 2018–ongoing. Film still. Courtesy the artist and Protocinema, Istanbul, New York

The feature-length documentary subtly narrates the past and present story of Çatalhöyük archaeological site in present-day Konya, Turkey. The Neolithic settlement founded 9,000 years ago is regarded as one of the first urban centers of the world. The artist spent several months on site, documenting the international network of specialists, excavators, and academics participating in British archeologist Ian Hodder’s Çatalhöyük Research Project—a living community uniting a contemporary community of outside researchers and locals. In an associative montage of recorded material and archival footage, Biscotti weaves together a narrative that links the ways of living and organization of one of the earliest forms of society to the contemporary community. The sense of timelessness of the narration is interrupted by the sudden closure of the excavation site after the 2016 attempted military coup in Turkey. This refocuses the film, pointing out the dynamics of power that determine social structures and forms of organization.

Rossella Biscotti is an internationally renowned artist, working between the Netherlands wherever her research requires. Using a variety of media, she weaves individual narratives into portraits of sites, describing power relations that determine social structures and forms of organization. A graduate of the Naples Academy of Fine Arts, Italy, she then attended the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. She has been honored by awards such as the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Residency, and has been included in many international exhibitions, including Dhaka Art Summit, documenta, Istanbul Biennial, Manifesta, Venice Biennale, among others.