Insect Reis is an amateur nature observer who shares videos about nature, animals and especially insects on his personal YouTube channel. Meanwhile in his public life, he works as a physics teacher at a vocational high school. For this project, the artist travels from Istanbul to Izmir to meet Insect Reis. He listens to his life story, his interest in nature and his childhood from him in person. They conduct field researches together and analyze the species they stumble upon.
As Insect Reis approaches the creatures with a naïve curiosity and childlike courage, he in a way removes the separation between nature and culture, and develops a respectful neighborliness with the unknown and quiet world of animals. Within this process, an odd identity composed of the distance and oppositions between bureaucracy and the immanence of nature comes to view in the life of Insect Reis.
In the last part of the video, the artist and Insect Reis play a game together. In this game based on coincidence, they produce inter-species beings. These images are drawn first on pieces of paper and then on the chalkboards in the classroom where Insect Reis teaches. In this manner, a fun process is created in which representations of the artist, teacher and nature observer and human and animal images are intertwined. What is left over of this game-like process remains on the chalkboard. Kadir Kayserilioğlu’s film Insect Reis crystallizes not only Insect Reis himself, but also spiders, caterpillars, grasshoppers, centipedes and friendships formed with strangers.
Kadir Kayserilioğlu’s work practice is grounded in an idea of play that operates across a wide range of forms including video games and collaborative, performance-based videos, documentation, and experimental films. While his works are initially shaped by certain instructions and protocols, they often rely on collective improvisational acts and on making use of chance processes as well. This often results in works that oppose conventional discourses and the notion of authority via a dark humoristic style, subverts hierarchies between forms of high culture and popular culture, that combine high production value with home-made and DIY aesthetics. His areas of investigation include subjects like the nature of social reality, speculative fiction, populist tactics, finiteness and micro-stories. Often by utilizing an absurdist language, Kayserilioğlu repurposes mythological narratives as well as science fiction and horror tropes towards a critical take on contemporary political dynamics. His works have been displayed in various exhibitions and screenings in Turkey and abroad. Kayserilioğlu’s first personal exhibition, a video titled “A Dinner with Friends” has been screened at the Bilsart Gallery in 2019. His experimental featurette “The Past is an Alien Planet”, which he completed in 2021 has been shown as part of his second solo exhibition at the Pill Gallery.
Insect Reis(2019), Digital video, 16 minutes. Courtesy of the artist
* Chief, leader
Part of a film program featuring films about the ecological crisis, colonialism, extractivism, capitalism and the complex relations between them.
When The Waters Recede (Sular Çekilince) is a series of video interventions, which have been screened online on KIRIK’s website and social media channels between March 20 and April 10, prepared for the prelude of the screening of Kadir Kayserilioğlu’s Insect Reis (Böcek Reis) at KIRIK.