Ataman studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, graduating with an MFA in 1988 and has pursued a career both as a filmmaker and artist. Ataman has received critical acclaim for his films, which document the lives of marginalized individuals. Ataman's films examine the way in which we create and rewrite our identities through self-expression and the blurred line between reality and fiction. In 2004 Ataman was short-listed for the Turner Prize at the Tate, and he participated in the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where he was awarded its prestigious Carnegie Prize. In 2008, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize named Ataman and curator Cristiana Perrella, as winners of its first curator and artist team competition. Their project will be unveiled during the Art Dubai fair in March 2009. His recent solo exhibitions include Paradise, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2007), De-Regulation With the Work of Kutlug Ataman, MuHKA, Belgium (2006), Kuba, Artangel (2005), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005), Long Streams, Serpentine Gallery, London and Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre, Denmark (2002). Group exhibitions include Moscow Biennial (2007); Without Boundary, Seventeen Ways of Looking, MOMA New York; Documentary Fictions, Caixa Forum, Barcelona (2004); Istanbul Biennial (2003); Testimonies: between Fiction and Reality, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece (2003); Witness, Barbican, London (2003); Days Like These, Tate Triennial, Tate Britain (2003); Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002); Berlin Biennial, Germany (2001); 48th Venice Biennale (1999); Manifesta 2, Luxembourg (1998).