Project for Turkey's Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial Announced

on Thursday, 23 March 2017. Posted in March, ---2017---

Related Article: Jake & Dinos Chapman at ARTER in Istanbul


In a press conference on 27 February acclaimed conceptual artist Cevdet Erek announced the concept of ÇIN - his project for Turkey's Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia.

Cevdet Erek at the Press Conference
Cevdet Erek at the Press Conference for Turkey's Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial, Photo: Selcuk Polat, Courtesy of IKSV

At the conference, Cevdet Erek illustrated some methods and concepts that he has experimented with in his series of works since the end of the 2000’s, such as 'Room of Rhythms' and 'Rulers and Rhythms Studies and Sound Ornamentations' among others, with sounds, images and drawings he made during his presentation.

ÇIN, which is created as a site-specific work for the Pavilion of Turkey at this year's edition of the Biennale di Venezia, will be developed during the process and be shaped together with the venue. In his presentation, Cevdet Erek gave examples of the studies conducted for the preparation of the work ÇIN, shared through various media.

CIN Logo

The artist stated:

"Instead of trying to describe a project that is meant to be experienced on-site, and is still in the phase of formation, I propose to imagine a scene together as an exercise: There is a fenced ruin in the distance with a guard inside of it who should not leave during the day. The guard, while walking in silence, notices a visitor who carefully peeks around and the concert of thousands of crickets thanks to the visitor. This duo, who try to talk to each other at a distance, briefly cry out at the same time from the ear pain caused by a violent noise that occurs out of the blue. Then, at night, in another place as the officer tries to suppress the ringing in her ears by opening the window two fingerbreadths and the noise a notch, enters an alarm sound: ‘viyuviyuviyuviyu’. Then she tries to imagine again in the same order by going back to the beginning.”

Cevdet Erek, who talked about the working process in Istanbul and accompanying short trips, introduced the core project team and stated that the project would allow for new participants and collaborations. The project team includes project coordinator Yelin Bilgin, architect and Gürden Gür, architect, as well as Elif Tunçel, art historian, Ayşe Erek and visual identity designer Yetkin Başarır. A new publication accompanies the exhibition and will be available at the launch of the Pavilion of Turkey at the biennial

The Pavilion of Turkey will be located in the Arsenale at Sale d’Armi where the exhibition takes place. The long-term venue was secured by İKSV for the duration of 20 years from 2014 to 2034 and supported by generous contributions of 21 supporters. The exhibition in the Pavilion of Turkey at La Biennale di Venezia is sponsored by Fiat, and realised with the contribution of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the production support of SAHA Association.

During and after studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Cevdet Erek (b. Istanbul, 1974) worked at various architectural practices as well as in the music band Nekropsi. Upon finishing his MA in Sound Engineering & Design at İTÜ MIAM Center for Advanced Studies in Music, he was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2005-2006. Erek’s installations and performances were shown at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Istanbul Biennial (2003, 2013 and 2015), Sydney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istanbul Modern (2014, 2015 and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012 ve 2015) among others. Major solo exhibitions of his work include 'Alt Üst' (2014) at Spike Island, Bristol and 'Week' at Kunsthalle Basel (2012). Erek published books such as 'SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack' (2008, BAS), 'Room of Rhythms' (2012, Walther König) and 'Less Empty Maybe” (2015, Revolver/Artist). The artist received the Nam June June Paik Media Art Prize given by Kunststiftung NRW in 2012 for 'SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack'. His most recent sound/music works include the sound and music direction for Kaan Müjdeci's feature length film 'Sivas' (71st Venice Film Festival - Special Jury Prize, 2014), music and the sound co-design for Emin Alper’s feature length film 'Frenzy' (72nd Venice Film Festival - Special Jury Prize, 2015). Since 2011 Cevdet Erek teaches at ITU and lives in Istanbul.

Jake & Dinos Chapman at ARTER in Istanbul

on Thursday, 23 March 2017. Posted in March, ---2017---

Related Article: Istanbul Galleries at Art Dubai and Art Basel Hong Kong


On view from 10 February to 7 May 2017, Arter presents the first solo exhibition of Jake & Dinos Chapman in Turkey titled 'In the Realm of the Senseless'. Curated by Nick Hackworth, the exhibition brings together a number of works from iconic series including 'Hell', 'The Chapman Family Collection' and 'One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved', alongside new and rarely seen works. The show presents an overview of the Chapmans' virulently pessimistic art and thought. Deploying humour and a perverse semiotics to undercut and satirise many of the unthinking beliefs that animate contemporary culture, the Chapmans' is amongst the most challenging of contemporary art practices.

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Unhappy Feet, 2010 at Arter
Jake and Dinos Chapman, Unhappy Feet, 2010 Fibreglass, plastic and mixed media in steel vitrine 216 x 171 x 171 cm © Jake and Dinos Chapman Courtesy of the artists and White Cube(detail)

The exhibition begins on the ground floor in spectacular fashion by uniting more works than have ever been shown together before from the Hell series, including the major piece, 'The Sum of All Evil'. Absurd, surreal and painstakingly detailed, the dioramas comprise of thousands of model Nazi soldiers engaged in scenes of orgiastic violence alongside other figures familiar from the Chapmans' visual universe, such as Hitler and Ronald McDonald. Since 2000 when the original 'Hell' work was completed (it subsequently was burnt in a fire in a London art storage facility), the series has been controversial, being serially misread both as profoundly engaged war art and as a disgraceful trivialization of violence. As the artists point out it takes a certain degree of hysteria and myopia to attach such ponderous meanings to the work itself. Two other large works from the series, 'Unhappy Feet' and 'Altered Towers', complete the floor.

Jake and Dinos Chapman at Arter
Exhibition view of 'In the Realm of the Senseless', Arter, 2017. Photo: exhibist

Arter's first floor amounts to a pastiche of the idea of retrospective shows with its centrepiece 'SHITROSPECTIVE' and the duo's first ever neon work, a new iteration of the brothers' first collaborative piece 'We Are Artists', made in 1991. Demonstrating the artists' stated desire to create work of 'zero cultural value' and their tactic of repeatedly recycling the same content, 'SHITROSPECTIVE' comprises of miniature versions of key works from their career, 'Fuckfaces', 'Sex', 'Übermensch' and 'Little Death Machine' – replicated in cardboard and mounted on pedestals. Known as one of the iconic works of the Chapmans, 'Insult to Injury' from the series of 'The Disasters of War' is hosted on the first floor of the exhibition. The show also includes a collection of archival works from 1971–2013, including some rare Chapman juvenilia.

Taking its cue from the Chapmans' recent show 'Come and See' at The Serpentine Gallery, London, the curation of the top floor of the exhibition takes aim at the idealised 'white cube' gallery space and elegant, well-mannered exhibitions. Resembling a show put together from a ransacked storage room the floor will be chaotic and over-stuffed, filled with myriad 2-D and sculptural works.

Inci Eviner receives the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize

on Thursday, 23 March 2017. Posted in March, ---2017---

Related Article: Project for Turkey's Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial Announced


Inci Eviner receiving the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize
Inci Eviner receiving the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize

Sharjah Art Foundation announced the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize recipients on 10 March during the opening night of Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj. The recipients of this year’s prize were İnci Eviner, Uriel Orlow, Dineo Seshee Bopape and Walid Siti. An honourary mention was awarded to the late artist Ali Jabri.

This year's biennial features two of Eviner's videos: Beuys Underground, a new work commissioned by the biennial, and Runaway Girls (2015).

İnci Eviner’s large body of work ranges from drawings and video to performative and collaborative practices. In her works, she explores politics of desire, space, subjectivity and its potentiality. As an artist, she is aware of the traumas we live with that demand a new kind of listening and witnessing. She follows the current practices of power on the female body and researches outside of the given identity that is in a continuous state of enactment.

The SB13 Prize jurors were Adriano Pedrosa, Artistic Director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Brazil; N'Goné Fall, independent curator and cofounder of GawLab Collective Dakar and Dr Youssef Aidabi, Advisor at the Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies.

The Sharjah Biennial Prize was established by Sharjah Biennial in 1993 and is now awarded by Sharjah Art Foundation. The honoured recipients are selected by a distinguished jury appointed by SAF. The Sharjah Biennial Prize is given upon the jury’s sole discretion and can be granted to any number of artists.

MOCAK acquires works by Gülin Hayat Topdemir and Guido Casaretto

on Thursday, 23 March 2017. Posted in March, ---2017---

Related Article: Inci Eviner receives the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize


Gülin Hayat Topdemir, Bride
Gülin Hayat Topdemir, Bride, 2015, oil on canvas, 157 x 99,8 cm. Courtesy the artist and Zilberman Gallery

Gülin Hayat Topdemir’s work 'Bride' (2015) has been acquired by Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland.

Gülin Hayat Topdemir’s paintings delve into the subconscious to narrate the dark side of human nature, which is also reflected in her choice of colors and technique. By using the technique of chiaroscuro, she masterfully constructs an atmosphere in which her stories unravel. In her recent body of work, the artist-model assumes different roles, suggesting alternative possibilities for the constructed self.

Gülin Hayat Topdemir (1976, Istanbul) lives and works in Istanbul. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Mimar Sinan University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. Her solo solo shows are: Salon Rouge (Zilberman Gallery, 2015), Black Box (Zilberman Gallery, 2013), Every Young Girl’s Dream? (Zilberman Gallery (previously as Cda-Projects), Istanbul, 2010), and Complexion (Zilberman Gallery (previously as Cda-Projects), Istanbul, 2008). Some of the group shows she participated in: Figure Out: Turkish Contemporary Art (Art Sawa, Dubai, 2012), Group Exhibition (Casa Dell’Arte, Bodrum, 2009; Istanbul, 2008), Kooperatif (Karşı Sanat, Istanbul, 2002) and Todays Artists Exhibition (Atatürk Cultural Center, Istanbul, 1997). Recipient of Nuri Iyem Painting Award-Selection Committee Special Price in 2007, her works are part of collection at 21C Museum (Kentucky, ABD) and private collections in Europe, Middle East and Turkey.

Guido Casaretto, Michael-4/ Roman Centurion texture David-3 / Street Vendor2 texture
Guido Casaretto, Michael-4/ Roman Centurion texture David-3 / Street Vendor2 texture, 2015, charcoal/resin sculpture, Measurement: 1: 50 x 64 x 31 cm; 2: 49 x 63,5 x 36 cm. Courtesy the artist and Zilberman Gallery

Guido Casaretto’s work 'Michael-4/ Roman Centurion texture David-3 / Street Vendor2 texture' (2015) has been acquired by Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland.

Dealing with ways of perceiving nature and reproducing it with digital means, Casaretto focuses on the phenomenon of sensation. Engaged with electronic information, various materials and art-historical references, his works overlap the different sensations with regard to the physical quality of the material and the types of perception within the concept of art history.

The interaction triggered by the physical approach goes deep down into the multidimensional sensation through the materials used by the artist such as concrete, skin, soil and epoxy. The former works of Casaretto, comprised of realistic manifestation of nature created in digital environment, are reversed by these new series of works through the manual intervention of the artist to the machine production. The works define the uniqueness of the handmade and invite the viewers to experience the sensation.

Guido Casaretto (1981) lives and works in Istanbul. One of the founders of Sanatorium, some of his solo shows are: Synesthesia (Zilberman Gallery, 2015), Extrasystemic Correlations (Zilberman Gallery, 2012), Default (Sanatorium, Istanbul, 2011); and some of his group shows are: Urban Justice (CerModern, Ankara, 2015), Venice Biennial Italian Pavillion (Venice, 2011), and Teatro Comunale (Italy, 2000). His works are included in many important private collections in Europe and Middle East.

Istanbul Galleries at Art Dubai and Art Basel Hong Kong

on Thursday, 23 March 2017. Posted in March, ---2017---

Related Article: MOCAK acquires works by Gülin Hayat Topdemir and Guido Casaretto


Zilberman at Art Dubai
Installation view of Zilberman Gallery's booth at Art Dubai 2017

Turkish galleries Galeri Zilberman, SANATORIUM and Galerist participated at this year’s edition of Art Dubai taking place from 15-18 March. Sanatorium showed works by Ahmet Doğu İpek and Ali İbrahim Öcal, while Zilberman Gallery participated with Burçak Bingöl, Antonio Cosentino, Aisha Khalid and Walid Siti. Galerist exhibited works by Rasim Aksan, Semiha Berksoy, Deniz Gul, İdil İlkin, Seza Paker, Ayça Telgeren, TUNCA, Merve Unsal, Elif Uras, Burcu Yagcioglu and Nil Yalter.

Sanatorium at Art Dubai
Installation view of Sanatorium's booth at Art Dubai 2017

Istanbul-based galleries Dirimart and Pi Artworks participated in Art Basel Hong Kong from 23-25 March 2017. Dirimart showed works by Fahrelnissa Zeid, Sarkis, Ayşe Erkmen, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Haluk Akakçe, Mustafa Hulusi, Ebru Uygun, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt and Güçlü Öztekin while Pi Artworks brought works by Susan Hefuna, Maude Maris, Volkan Aslan, Yuşa Yalçıntaş and Gülay Semercioğlu.

Dirimart at Art Basel Hong Kong
Installation view of Dirimart's booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017

Elmgreen & Dragset to curate 15th Istanbul Biennial

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, May

Related Article: Artists from Turkey at Manifesta 11


The 15th Istanbul Biennial, to be held 16 September - 12 November 2017, will be curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, who state that their focus will be on “collaborative efforts and processes“ in the context of the present geopolitical situation “experiencing a new rise of nationalism.”

Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, dr.h.c. and Ingar Dragset, dr.h.c.) are an artist duo who have worked together since 1995. Their artistic practice spans many genres, including installation, sculpture, performance, and theater. Their work has been included in the Istanbul (2013, 2011, 2001), Liverpool (2012), Singapore (2011), Moscow (2011, 2007), Venice (2009, 2003), Gwangju (2006, 2002), São Paulo (2002), and Berlin (1998) biennials. The artists were shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2000 and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in 2002. In 2012, Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. They were awarded honorary doctorates at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2015.

The Istanbul Biennial advisory board members include Adriano Pedrosa, Başak Şenova, İnci Eviner, Iwona Blazwick, and Ute Meta Bauer.

The conceptual framework of the 15th Istanbul Biennial will be announced at a press meeting to be held in fall 2016. The media preview of the biennial will be on 13 September, and the professional preview on 14 and 15 September 2017.

Elmgreen & Dragset
Elmgreen & Dragset. Photo: Elmar Vestner

Ergin Cavusoglu & Gülsün Karamustafa at Guggenheim NY

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, May

Related Article: Cevdet Erek to represent Turkey at 57th Venice Biennial


Ergin Çavuşoğlu’s 'Crystal & Flame' (2010) and Gülsün Karamustafa’s 'Create your own story with the given material' (1997) have been acquired by the Guggenheim, NY and will be part of the museum’s upcoming exhibition 'But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa'.

The third exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, 'But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa’ (29 April – 5 October 2016), will illuminate contemporary artistic practices in the Middle East and North Africa and the region’s diaspora. Presenting a selection of newly acquired works for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection, this exhibition will feature installations, photographs, sculptures, videos, and works on paper from a broad selection of artists. Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition will travel to Istanbul’s Pera Museum in 2017. The exhibition is curated by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa.

To date, MAP’s acquisitions program has brought more than 107 works by 85 artists and collectives into the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. More than 7,000 students, teachers, families, and art enthusiasts have participated in over 80 interactive education programs, developed jointly by the Guggenheim and its institutional partners across the world specifically for local audiences. In addition, MAP’s website at guggenheim.org/MAP offers a wealth of content, including videos by artists and curators, artist profiles, blog posts by international curators and critics, and interactive learning tools.

Crystal & Flame, 2010
Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Crystal & Flame, 2010, Four channel synchronized HD video installations, sound, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Rampa Istanbul & Guggenheim NY

Ergin Çavuşoğlu (born in Bulgaria, 1968) studied at The National School of Fine Arts “Iliya Petrov”, Sofia in the early 1980s. He consequently received a BA in painting from the University of Marmara, İstanbul, MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, a PhD from University in Portsmouth and his Professorship from Middlesex University. Ergin Çavuşoğlu currently lives and works in London, United Kingdom.

Gülsün Karamustafa, Create your own story, 1997
Gülsün Karamustafa, Create your own story with the given material, 1997
child-sized white cotton shirts, sewn shut with black cord in a meditation on the plight of immigrant children in Turkey. Courtesy the artist, Rampa Istanbul & Guggenheim NY

Born 1946 in Ankara, Turkey Gülsün Karamustafa lives and works in Istanbul and is one of Turkey’s most outspoken and celebrated artists. She has a forty-year oeuvre distinguished by installations, paintings, sculptures, and videos that examine the complexities of gender, globalization, and migration.

Meriç Öner New Director of SALT

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. Posted in January, ---2017---

Related Article: Curatorial Theme for 15th Istanbul Biennial Announced


Vasıf Kortun, Director of Research & Programs of SALT since its founding in 2011 will be stepping down from his position at the end of March 2017 to join the institution’s Board of Directors. SALT’s new Director of Research & Programs Meriç Öner is a trained architect and has been Associate Director of Research and Programs at SALT since 2011. Öner was editor of the interactive database developed for the exhibition Becoming Istanbul (DAM, Frankfurt am Main, 2008) by GG. Later, she programmed the exhibition’s first display in Turkey at SALT Beyoğlu in 2011, together with “90” talks, presentations, screenings and performances on the city, among many others.

Meric Öner new director at SALT
Meriç Öner and Vasif Kortun at Salt Galata, Photo: Mustafa Hazneci

Concept of 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial announced

on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. Posted in January, ---2016---

Related Article: Turkey's project for the 15th International Architecture Biennial announced


Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial titled 'ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years' will run from 22 October to 4 December 2016.

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial explores the intimate relationship between the concepts of “design” and “human.” Design always presents itself as serving the human but its real ambition is to redesign the human. The history of design is therefore a history of evolving conceptions of the human. To talk about design is to talk about the state of our species. Humans have always been radically reshaped by the designs they produce and the world of design keeps expanding. We live in a time when everything is designed, from our carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outer space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. We literally live inside design, like the spider lives inside the web constructed from inside its own body. But unlike the spider, we have spawned countless overlapping and interacting webs. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Design has become the world.

Design is the most human thing about us. Design is what makes the human. It is the basis of social life, from the very first artefacts to the exponential expansion of human capability. But design also engineers inequalities and new forms of neglect. More people than ever in history are forcibly displaced by war, lawlessness, poverty, and climate at the same time that the human genome and the weather are being actively redesigned. We can no longer reassure ourselves with the idea of “good design.” Design needs to be redesigned.

3rd Istanbul Design Biennial 2016
Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley at the Press Conference of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial at the Archeological Museum Istanbul, Photo: Muhsin Akgun

ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years invites a wide arrange of designers and thinkers from around the world to respond to a compact set of eight interlinked propositions:

DESIGN IS ALWAYS DESIGN OF THE HUMAN
THE HUMAN IS THE DESIGNING ANIMAL
OUR SPECIES IS COMPLETELY SUSPENDED IN ENDLESS LAYERS OF DESIGN
DESIGN RADICALLY EXPANDS HUMAN CAPABILITY
DESIGN ROUTINELY CONSTRUCTS RADICAL INEQUALITIES
DESIGN IS EVEN THE DESIGN OF NEGLECT
“GOOD DESIGN” IS AN ANESTHETIC
DESIGN WITHOUT ANESTHETIC ASKS URGENT QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR HUMANITY

These propositions will be explored over the coming year in events, classes, workshops, and online discussions – including open calls for responses to the propositions by short videos. This year of exploration around the world will culminate in a dense program of exhibitions, debates, broadcasts and publications during the six weeks of the Biennial in Istanbul that opens in October 2016. This Biennial is an archaeological project. It is not about celebrating particular designers or about visualizing remarkable futures. It will be a multi-media documentary about the state of design today, when everyday reality has outpaced science fiction. It will place the extreme condition of contemporary design into the context of the extended 200,000 year history of our species – from the first standardized ornaments and the footprints of the first shoes to the latest digital and carbon footprints. A Biennial normally focuses on the last 2 years. The time frame for this exhibition will span from the last 2 seconds to the last 200,000 years. Ancient archaeological artefacts from Turkey and the region will be presented at the heart of the Biennial to reframe the latest real-time thinking about design.

Rather than a singular design branding, a number of young Turkish graphic designers – Pemra Ataç, Yetkin Başarır, Özge Güven, Okay Karadayılar, and Sarp Sözdinler – will work on different dimensions of the biennial, from the streets to the publications, to the exhibition, and to the online activities. The multiplicity of visual identities will be treated as an integral part of the reflection on design rather than simply packaging or communication. Likewise, the exhibition architecture by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation particularly (Roberto Gonzalez Garcia, Laura Mora, Federico Landi) will act as clusters of interactive clouds for reflection and discussion. Evangelos Kotsioris is the Assistant Curator of the project and the online dimensions are being directed by Iván López Munuera.

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions will be held in Galata Greek Primary School, DEPO and Studio-X. The details of the biennial’s events programme will be announced later in 2016.

Curatorial Theme for 15th Istanbul Biennial Announced

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. Posted in January, ---2017---

Related Article: Tate Aquires works by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin


15th istanbul biennial
Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset. Photo: Muhsin Akgün, IKSV

Titled ‚a good neighbour’ and curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset the exhibition will deal with multiple notions of home and neighbourhoods, exploring how living modes in our private spheres have changed throughout the past decades. „Home is approached as an indicator of diverse identities and a vehicle for self-expression, and neighbourhood as a micro-universe exemplifying some of the challenges we face in terms of co-existence today,” the curators explained in the press conference.
Photographs by Turkish artist Ali Taptık were projected behind 40 performers posing the question, what it means to be a good neighbor at the press conference. The photos are part of a series he produced in Istanbul in relation to the theme.

15th istanbul biennial
One of the performers at the Press Conference for the 15th Istanbul Biennial. Photo: Ilgin Erarslan Yanmaz

The biennial will be accompanied by an international billboard campaign, created by graphic designer Rupert Smyth together with artists. The campaign, which will be realised through collaborations with multiple cultural institutions worldwide, questions the ways in which neighbourhoods have changed all around the world. The 15th Istanbul Biennial will take place between 16 September and 12 November 2017.

Artists from Turkey at Transmediale’s 30th Edition

on Thursday, 19 January 2017. Posted in January, ---2017---

Related Article: Anna Laudel Contemporary in Karaköy


New media art theorist Ebru Yetişkin and artist Bager Akbay will be speaking at a panel at transmediale festival’s 30th edition in a session on Alternative Futurism: Middle-East Imaginaries, together with Ayhan Ayteş, Morehsin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke on 8 February 2017 at Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus in Berlin. Works by Turkish new media artist Pınar Yoldaş will be on view at the transmediale exhibition Alien Matter at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which was curated by Inke Arns on view from 3 February until 5 March 2017.

Meric Öner new director at SALT
Artificial Intelligence for Governance, The Kitty AI, 2016

M HKA Antwerp hosts Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin exhibition

on Tuesday, 10 November 2015. Posted in ---2015--- , November

Related Article: Cengiz Çekil, key figure of Contemporary Art in Turkey, dies at 70


The exhibition titled 'Democratic luxury' has been developed as a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp (M HKA) and RAMPA Gallery, Istanbul, with the displays across both venues together forming a major retrospective of the work of Alptekin. The display at RAMPA runs from 2 September 2015 until 14 November 2015 and the one in Antwerp from 16 October 2015 until 31 January 2016.

“I investigate the beauty and the vulgar and the relationship between them.”

Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (Izmir, 1957–Istanbul, 2007) was fascinated by the difference between the promise of something and its banal reality. This promise could lie in the name of a cheap hotel offering the experience of a distant place, or in the branding of a mass-produced product unconvincingly simulating luxuriousness or exoticism. Alptekin was an artist that saw the profound effects of global capitalism on the everyday, observing the movement of people and products across geographies, particularly in the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He himself was also a traveller, studious of forms of feral capitalism surging from places considered the fringes of western modernity. It is the signifiers and remnants of all this – traces of the burgeoning effects of mobility, trade and image circulation – that Alptekin used as the materials for his art-making, as a means for contemplating what it all represented.

Part of the first generation of Turkish artists considered to be globally active and nationally influential, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin is considered one of the most significant figures in the established contemporary art scene of Istanbul. The exhibition Democratic luxury is a major retrospective of his practice, bringing together works produced during the two decades either side of the new millennium. Since the early 1990s, Alptekin focused on an artistic production broad in scope, which included photographs, sculptures, installation, neon text, videos and collages. It is ‘plastic art’ reflecting the prosaic material qualities of ‘global junk’ that came with the flow of trans-national free-market capitalism. This dislocation with geography recurs as a thematic strand in much of his practice, analysing how a society’s representations of ‘other’ places conform to our desires and stereotypes. Democratic luxury aims to take us deeper into the thought-processes of the exhibited works through the inclusion of a selection of studies, drawings and notes from the Alptekin archive. The exhibition will also consider his collaborative initiatives with other artists such as the Bunker Research Group, the Barn Research Group or the Sea Elephant Travel Agency which aspired to organise a ‘floating laboratory’ for artists and thinkers to circumnavigate the Black Sea, developing critical discussions and artistic exchange, all-the-while tracing the route taken by the protagonist in Jules Verne’s novel Kéraban the Inflexible (1883).

Curator: Nav Haq

Huseyin Bahri Alptekin, Turk Truck
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Turk Truck, 1995/2013, Courtesy the Estate of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, M. D. Morris, Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz and Rampa Istanbul, Photo: Bram Goots

Huseyin Bahri Alptekin with M D Morris, Heterotopia
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin with M D Morris, Heterotopia, 1995/2013, Courtesy the Estate of Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, M. D. Morris, Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz and Rampa Istanbul

Nilbar Güres receives Belvedere Contemporary Art Award 2015

on Saturday, 09 January 2016. Posted in ---2015---

Related Article: Galleries from Istanbul at Art Dubai 2016


Nilbar Güreş is the recipient of the fifth edition of the BC21 Art Award, a €20,000-worth prize presented biannually by the Boston Consulting Group and the Belvedere in Vienna. The Jury stated: „Notable for its idiosyncratic approach to a variety of media, Nilbar Güreş’ work distinguishes itself for its engagement with both the humor and politics of identity, sex, and gender. The artist’s collages, photographs, drawings, and objects reveal a playful intelligence with which she confronts normative conventions and stereotypical representations to great effect."

Güreş was nominated for the BC21 Art Award 2015 by Sophie Goltz (Stadtkuratorin Hamburg). This year’s selection jury comprised Vasif Kortun (Director SALT, Istanbul), João Ribas (curator, Serralves Museum, Porto), Polly Staple (Director Chisenhale Gallery, London), and Agnes Husslein-Arco (Director of the Belvedere and 21er Haus).

Nilbar Güreş received her BA in Fine Arts from Marmara University and went on to get her MA from the Department of Painting and Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 2002. Exploring gender roles and cultural identities through collage, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and performance, the artist tries to identify moments of clarity amongst absurd elements of quotidian life. In Güreş’s collages - which combine drawing, embroidery, appliqué and painting – motifs and symbols from the oriental pictorial tradition are crossed with modern poses and (homo-)erotic scenes to form socio- political narratives. Challenging clichés of women’s social visibility and traditional roles, the artist creates provocative counter-images that address Western fears of Islamic symbols. The artist lives and works in Vienna and Istanbul.
Güreş had artist residencies in Malmö, Auckland, São Paulo and New York, and was awarded the Msgr. Otto Mauer-Award (2014), and the Professor-Hilde-Goldschmidt-Award (2013).
Her work was on show at the 21er Haus in Vienna, alongside works by the other three nominees, Andreas Duscha, Sarah Pichlkostner and Hannes Zebedin in November 2015.

Nilbar Güreş Belvedere Vienna
Nilbar Güreş, Courtesy Belvedere Vienna. Photo: Stephan Joham.

Nilbar Güreş, Promising Hands, 2014
Nilbar Güreş, Promising Hands, 2014, metal construction, fibres, a promise bamboo ring, wool. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Martin Janda and Rampa

Turkey at the 1st London Design Biennial

on Tuesday, 03 May 2016. Posted in ---2016---, September

Related Article: Contemporary Artists from Turkey in the Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection


Turkey’s contribution to the first ever London Design Biennial was on view at Somerset house from 7 to 27 September 2016. The inaugural London Design Biennale featured projects from over thirty countries, which were called to respond to the theme of ‘Utopia by Design,’ celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s classic, Utopia (1516).

Coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Turkey’s contribution to the biennale presented ‘The Wish Machine'. Autoban’s installation takes direct inspiration from the ‘wish-tree’, a cultural tradition deeply rooted in the ancient Anatolian faith and found in ancient Greek, Kabala and Persian believes. Its origins can be tracked back to the Neolithic. It operates on a simple mechanism that involves affixing a note or a memento to a branch of a tree as an act of hope born out of hopelessness. In this act, the tree becomes a place of last resort for one’s hopes and wishes, which are pinned on universal powers, in the hope that they can change the supplicant’s fate. ‘The Wish Machine’ takes this multi-cultural tradition as the key insight into how design and utopia can cooperate.

The installation that was installed in the West Wing G1A at Somerset House was an interactive pneumatic system operating in a mirrored space. Visitors were invited to walk through a tunnel that was made of transparent hexagonal tubes. They could share their hopes and wishes, vision of utopias, and aspiration for the future, by writing them on paper, and feeding them to the Wish Machine through a lid at the dead end. Notes then travelled back through the tubes to a place out of visitors’ sight, as if their destination is a place unknown. Just like throwing coins to the depths of a lake or lighting a candle to make a wish come true, the final destination being addressed remained a mystery.

Autoban's Project
Autoban's Project 'Wish Machine' for the 1st London Design Biennial in 2016. Photo: Courtesy Autoban and IKSV

In forming ‘The Wish Machine,’ Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar, the founders of Autoban, were motivated by the utopian idea of detaching from all known parameters belonging to the past and the present to dream for a better future. This positively provocative approach to suggest solutions for humanity and the act of dreaming was their biggest inspiration, reflected in their own field of design. The biggest problem they identified in today’s world is the inability to express an idea or a dream about a more positive future, without constantly having to struggle with the chaos of the present.

Having realised that preceding systems that were designed to create a ‘perfect’ order from chaos and diversity have eventually failed, the designers embraced the endless journey both as a method and form. Utopia was an inspirational resource for the idea of ‘being triggered for searching.’ Throughout their journey, Utopia was a reference point that inspired them to create constructive thinking and keep the essence of hope.

Autoban has worked in an interdisciplinary and collective setting with different expertise, to make a real, interactive, and perfectly working mechanical system, custom designed for the biennial space. In their design approach for the London Design Biennale, the company has looked into possibilities to express familiar traditions in new representations, and to build a century-long, well-known system with a surprising new form and function.

Ahmet Ögüt
Press Conference for Turkey's project for the 1st London Design Biennial in 2016. Photo: Mahmut Ceylan, Courtesy IKSV

Contemporary Artists from Turkey in the Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection

on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in ---2016---, August

Related Article: Work by Burçak Bingöl enters permanent Collection of the Met in New York


istanbul codex imago mundi
Istanbul Codex, imago mundi collection

227 works by artists from Turkey have recently been included in the ‚Istanbul Codex. Contemporary Artists from Turkey’ part of the Imago Mundi Collection , a cultural, democratic, global, non-profit project, promoted by Luciano Benetton with the aim of creating the widest possible mapping of the different contemporary artistic experiences of our world. In Imago Mundi, each country is represented by the works of established artists and new talents, commissioned with the maximum freedom of expression, whose only constraint is the 10x12 cm format.

The collection is accompanied by a publication of the same title with texts by Luciano Benetton, Claudio Scorretti, Irina Ungureanu, Lora Sarıaslan.

istanbul codex imago mundi
Istanbul Codex, imago mundi collection

Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other
Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other, 2015, imago mundi collection

Gamze Taşdan, Orhan
Gamze Taşdan, Orhan, 2015, imago mundi collection

Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other
Kürşat Bayhan, Waterbottles, 2015, imago mundi collection

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