Dog Star Descending

Hundsstern steigt ab

64th TIFF: Greek Premiere
It all starts with a tree that falls beneath the artist’s window one night. This event, and a vivid memory of summer vacations spent with his parents on the island of Imbros, lead the artist to tell us the story of his own experience of uprooting. Turkish, educated at the German High School of Istanbul, as a young student Safoğlu goes into exile in Berlin. Safoğlu’s education at the German High School, which his parents hoped would prepare him for a better life, only makes him feel torn between two cultures – two countries. This intimate tale of reconciliation with his family and with himself is based on Safoğlu’s personal archive of photographs – a favorite material of the artist, whose work frequently involves the manipulation of existing images, the palimpsest, a process of association with storytelling, and the voice. Safoğlu transforms still images into “migrant images” as he defines them, using the techniques of cropping, rearranging, and scanning. Here, the photographs seem to have been fed through a shredder and then loosely pieced together again. They roll by the viewer as if on a conveyor belt, evoking a road to be traveled in rhythm to the steps of the artist, which thus accompany the unfurling of the narrative.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Aykan Safoğlu
Script: Aykan Safoğlu
Cinematography: Aykan Safoğlu
Editing: Mertcan Mertbilek
Sound: Zosia Hołubowska
Production: Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Narration: Aykan Safoğlu
Format: HD
Color: Color
Production Country: Germany
Production Year: 2020
Duration: 12'
Contact: Aykan Safoğlu
Animation: Mertcan Mertbilek

Aykan Safoğlu

Aykan Safoğlu explores cultural belonging, migration, familial lineage, and historical time, which are always portrayed through the mirror of his personal experience in life and practice. Safoğlu juxtaposes intimate memory work against media conventions, questioning storage, documentation, and reproduction in film, photography, and performance. The artist received his MFA in Photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (US). Recent solo exhibitions include Taurus at Pilot, Vienna (Austria, 2023), Recess at SALT Galata, Istanbul (Turkey, 2022), Ebbe/Flut at Coalmine, Winterthur (Switzerland, 2022), and I’ll Be Your Mirror at Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany, 2021). His work was also included in notable exhibition formats, such as Les Rencontres d’Arles (FR, 2021), the 39th EVA International (IR, 2021), Videonale.18 (DE, 2021), and the 11th Berlin Biennial (DE, 2020). Safoğlu was an artist-in-residence at Istanbul’s Tarabya Cultural Academy in 2019, at Beirut’s Ashkal Alwan in 2016, and a fine arts fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2018. In 2014–2015, he was in the SAHA Studio at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. He received the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen at the 59th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2013) and the Birgit Jürgenssen Prize (2021). Safoğlu is currently a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.


2013 Off-White Tulips (short)
2015 Gülşen and Hüseyin (short)
2019 Touching Feeling (short)
2020 Dog Star Descending (short)
2021 A Photocopy of the Rainbow (short)