New Media Exhibition: Iterations as Habitats


The New Empire

The New Empire

2014 | Banu Colak


The New Empire is a visual mediation on the concept of the nation-state, which continues to serve as one of the dominant concepts by which we delimit our environments and define ourselves.

While empires are formed by conquest, nation-states conjure expectations of consensual, rather than forced, belonging.

Still, nation-states split and merged over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, testifying to their fragility and ephemerality.

One side of Colak’s video explores the transience of nation-states under the empire of the natural world, evoked by cartographic images of nation-states covered by the tides and whose demarcations are eventually worn away like the sharp edges of sea glass. The other side explores the emergence of new nation-states that rise from the water like the glimmering towers of the modern Gulf emirates.


Banu Colak (Turkey/UAE) holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts. Her work navigates iconic and everyday images. It brings into dialogue video, photography and pixelated works as wall installations. Her primary focus is landscapes by looking at fragmented, changing, and manipulated realities to depict personal and collective narratives of identities that are not static but multilayered and dynamic.