Passing Through the Table

Nazlı Dinçel (Turkey / USA) is an award winning non-binary trans filmmaker and an immigrant farmer residing in Milwaukee, WI.

Artist Bio

This project takes the forms of two different mediums with the final goal of finishing a 60-minute feature film inside a performance over the next several years. I want to create multiple month-long performances in various institutional settings that contain physical elements like sculptures or garments made from medical waste from gender transitioning. These objects would be needles and bottles from testosterone shots, binders and gauze and bottles from surgical procedures including my ovarian tubes that are currently being preserved in my freezer. The performative gestures are to be determined, but I’m imagining them to be acts of healing like repairing damaged 16mm film with a splicer for hours or weaving a rug of my previously female presenting body in the gallery space (a throwback to my previous work.) Between these acts I would intermittently be filming, hand processing and editing the project all in the performance space on 16mm film.

The subject of the film is reconciling living in the US with medical trauma. The US healthcare system creates a worker/surplus binary for labor extraction, based on sick people’s capacity to heal and get back to the workforce. This binary is similar to the gender binary in the sense that it rationalizes a political notion that not all people are in fact equal in deserving assistance or support based on their capacity to engage in “work.” The film is about the integration of all these elements- labor, medicine, art and transitioning in a physical body.

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Award Year

In Progress

An above-shoulders headshot of Nazli Dincel looking at the camera wearing a blue button-up shirt with white background.

Nazlı Dinçel

Milwaukee, WI

Nazlı Dinçel received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Nazlı Dinçel has won awards and exhibited worldwide in institutions, festivals, and microcinemas including The Museum of Modern Art, International Film Festival Rotterdam, MUMOK, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, among others. They are the recipient of a 2018 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship and a recipient of a 2019 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University. Dinçel holds an MFA from the UW-Milwaukee’s Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres. Born in Ankara, Turkey, Dinçel immigrated to the United Sates at age 17. Dinçel’s emphasis on hand-crafted works stems from experiences of diaspora, and laborious working conditions in their birth country. Dinçel has been medically transitioning since 2022 complicating heavily identifying with female presenting material in their early career. Their works focus on breaking binary representations of the body acclimating to a western culture, anti-ethnography and object theory in analogy with the film object and the tactility of the 16mm analogue material.