Stretch Film : A Tattoo Ritual on Remembering and Forgetting or The Blindspot

Copywrite: Hande Öçalan

İllustrator: Hüseyin Sandık

Have ever thought what the actual reason why we get inked?

Is it because we think it will fit on our bodies? Maybe because we see it as a good accessory which we do not have to wear and take off every day. The romanticism of the idea that we will have something we are passionately connected on our bodies? Or maybe because we wish to transform our too romantic quality into a slightly harder shell? Sometimes it is just a temporary desire chosen from a catalog as a decision which was taken quickly and without much thought.

But in essence of all these reasons, it lies to remember and forget something. We want a way of painting that we know to stand in front of our eyes throughout our lives so that it will either remind us of something whenever we look at or make us forget certain things as it glimpses us. A tattoo made after bad times can make us feel well or play a role as a morale booster. Just like wish, it makes us forget.

The tattoos which illustrate a memory or moment we do not want to forget support our minds, symbolize the things which will always be with us and keep them in our overconscious. They remind us of what was or wasn’t done to us, our beloved family member or a funny incident we had during the high school years.

In this context, our tattoos, turning to represent our memory, vary in everyone. Everyone’s reason or wantonness represents their conscious and turns into the quiet but powerful and effective tattoos which have answers to all questions. Doesn’t it look like the best way to carry all the materials we may possibly forget and certain sections about our life to the future? It is an icon that will carry us forward and immortalize us when our minds get weaker and the story we tell is not as interesting as it used to be.

American crime drama The Blindspot tells a story in this memory and tattoo dilemma.

The story starts with a naked woman with tattoos all around her body who was found in a suitcase in the middle of Times Square. What the police officers firstly realize on the woman, who lost her conscious, is the tattoo of an FBI detective’s name. FBI detective to whom the case investigation was transferred and whose name is on this unidentified woman gets to work on searching and tracking the meanings of all those tattoos. Along with the ongoing investigation without knowing if the woman is a criminal and a victim, the woman’s memory is also tried to fulfill. While our hero, who is exposed to sudden recall attacks and a batch of cryptanalysis operations besides the medical treatment process, is going on a personal journey, the first thing the people around her do is to start a detective game under state pressure.

Because of the lack of memory and due to the lack of the slightest idea about who she is, she is named as Jane Doe used by the FBI to identify unidentified female victims (In men, this name is used as John Doe). While Jane is trying to figure out where she stands in a crime story throughout the process, she has to find out who she is in the first place, how she knows 6-7 different languages and why she is with a talent that can be at a CIA agent. He’s trying to steer the FBI and herself with disconnected flashbacks that will not serve an event. At this point, the tattoos are possibly the only things she can rely on. That the tattoos on her body can tell the story everyone is curious about in a single flow makes Jane’s body one of the main heroes of the series by keeping in the foreground that tattoos can tell something, guide and make you think. As the meaning of the tattoos is resolved and the committed crimes are released, can the main character’s memory fulfill in parallel? The tattoos can serve to solve the event pattern but can they bring a person’s memory back to its place? As long as the person does not want to.

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