Nazlı Dinçel’s hand-made work reflects on experiences of disruption. She records the body in context with arousal, immigration, dislocation and desire with the film object: its texture, color and the tractable emulsion of the 16mm material. Her use of text as image, language and sound imitates the failure of memory and her own displacement within a western society.
Her 16mm films are entirely hand-made by herself, from the beginning to the completion of each piece. She only uses a laboratory to finalize copies of her work for public screenings. Her process is to film, and to use hand-processing techniques to achieve desired perfection/imperfection with her imagery. If text is used, she embeds it on the film, frame-by-frame, by hand. She uses physical techniques that flick off the emulsion; like hand scratching, typing, sewing or hammering letter punches or punching the text directly onto the image.
Working with the camera original is an invitation to making a fault. This has turned her into an Artist with little attachment to her imagery. Physically achieving failure and playfulness is a confirmation of this overarching theme in her work, as her process.
Her films offer a language to an avant-garde history that re-evaluates what it means to create work on celluloid, as a Turkish immigrant to the United States, in the millennium. She relates the tedious acts of physically animating the text onto her imagery with the traditional female roles in her Turkish upbringing as intricate cooking or rug making.
Because of the scale of a 16mm frame, the amount of scratching that goes on top of her images are often fragmented into words that create a visual rhythm similar to poetry. The minimalism of the language and the repetition of the text are similarly simple and precise as the language of fables.
“A child’s pleasure in listening to stories lies partly in waiting for things he expects to be repeated: situations, phrases, formulas. Just as in poems and songs the rhymes help to create the rhythm, so in prose narrative there are events that rhyme. The fable is highly effective because it is formed as a series of events that echo each other as rhymes do in a poem” (Italio Calvino, Six Memos For the next Millennium)
The tediousness of the making of her text is a form of meditation. Over-working a subject matter is a form of healing. The content is exhausted in the making of the films. The repetition of re-photographing, scratching, cutting, typing the text on the film systematically becomes a form of flesh memory because of the amount of time spent doing it. The constant repetition becomes a sensory deprivation method for Dinçel's psyche, distancing her from her subject matter. Her desires for men, the painful, embarrassing, sexually charged childhood memories, stereotypical obsessions and scarring aftermaths: she can only truly access these only if she is studying them as her subjects.
Dinçel is interested in pornographic imagery, to offer a female polemic against representations of the body. This is to create a conceptual equivalent of the female gaze since her use of pornographic imagery is not primarily intended to arouse the viewer. She is interested in using sex as a subversive force, a force that is capable of deleting meaningless social structures, or stereotypical conventions of females in society and in the art world.
Aside the sexual subject matter, her work mostly intends to provoke a sense, a visceral feeling of presence that should put her audience in a mode of self-intervention. Her pleasure as the filmmaker should translate to the viewer in the modes she offers in her films: the sense of touching, physically capturing the sound of her images and the visual pleasures of perfections and imperfections of her process.
The work of the artist is to create a disruption for her viewer, to make work that moves beyond aesthetically pleasing images into a realm of pleasure that is self-aware of its own language.