Europalia Arts Festival - Turkey in Belgium
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For the 25th edition of its festival, EUROPALIA will be putting the spotlight on cultural heritage from Turkey with a program including fine arts, music, photography, cinema, theatre, dance, literature, architecture, design, fashion and gastronomy. The choice for Turkey as its country of focus is based on the increased economic developments the country has undergone in the last two decades. The country’s status as a cultural melting pot and „The cradle of civilization’, bridging Europe and Asia adds to its allure. In light of its anniversary the festival has updated its mission, increasing its focus on: heritage projects, contemporary projects, exchange and new creations. These elements will be integrated in the upcoming edition for the first time. This means that next to focusing on the country’s history, contemporary artists from Turkey will also take on an important part in this project. In particular, collaborations between young Belgian and up-and-coming artists from Turkey will stimulate an intercultural dialogue and exchange.
Gülsün Karamustafa, Motorcycle, 1986. Courtesy the artist and Europalia
Next to solo- and duo-exhibitions including artists from Turkey, there will also be large overview of works related to Istanbul. The centre of Fine Arts in Brussels will show Imagine Istanbul showcasing artists of the 20th century with works which demonstrate the character of this vast city. Similarly MAS will open Port City Talks focusing on Antwerp and Istanbul as port cities, which also involved residency projects for artists from Turkey. In Wavelengths the young Turkish multimedia and digital art scene will be represented by various events in Brussels, lasting from October until December. In Antwerp, the M HKA is dedicating an exhibition titled Democratic Luxury to Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin. This artist, who died in 2007, left an oeuvre that has played and still plays a key role in contemporary Turkish art. The exhibition at the M HKA is part of a small but powerful series within the festival that brings internationally renowned Turkish artists to Belgium where they are rarely if ever exhibited. As well as Alptekin, this series features two great women artists, Ayşe Erkmen and Gülsün Karamustafa. Erkmen will enter into dialogue with Ann-Veronica Janssens at the SMAK, while at the Centrale for Contemporary Art and Argos, Karamustafa will encounter Koen Theys and Kasper Bosmans.