Guido Casaretto included in the permanent collection of MOCAK

on Monday, 05 March 2018. Posted in ---2018--- , March

Related Article: Nilbar Güreş wins the De'Longhi Art Projects Artist Award

Guido Casaretto included in the permanent collection of MOCAK
Guido Casaretto, 'Waterfront IV', 2016, epoxy, photo: the artist and Zilberman Gallery

Guido Casaretto’s 'Waterfront IV' (2016) has been included in the permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Over the last five years Casaretto has been focusing on processes of sensory perception, utilizing different materials in order to make unusual copies of systems that represent various phenomena. Casted using epoxy, 'Waterfront IV' transforms the image of sea waves into a sculpture triggering haptic perceptions.

With his most recent works, Casaretto establishes a relationship between sensory perception triggered through the layering of different elements, and craftsmanship that follows a similar layered process of creation. Inspired by the utilization of materials and the working methods of craftsmen, Casaretto’s works make it difficult to distinguish between real formations in nature and the artist’s attempts to copy them. By making use of various materials, geological formations and mythological stories from the Mediterranean Basin, the artist underlines the difference between art and craftsmanship, that is significant for this region.

Guido Casaretto (1981) lives and works in Istanbul. One of the founders of Sanatorium, some of his solo shows are: The Pope and Galileo Had A Minor Disagreement (Zilberman Gallery, 2017), 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 work is included in MOCAK–Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (Krakow, Poland) and many important private collections in Europe and Middle East.

Koc Contemporary Art Museum opening in 2019

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in ---2013---, September

Related Article: TANAS Berlin is closing its doors

This summer, selected from more than 20 firms world wide, Grimshaw Architects has been chosen by the Vehbi Koç Foundation to design Koç Contemporary, a new contemporary art museum in Istanbul. Koç Contemporary will be located in Beyoglu, an area of Istanbul, home of most of the hip galleries in this booming art city, aiming to create a building which is an extension of this vibrant public realm where the boundary between inside and out is blurred and where passing pedestrians are tempted through exciting public spaces, which are rich in activity and surprise.

The museum is expected to be a landmark building entirely derived from its context with the mosaic tiled forms of traditional Ottoman architecture providing the inspiration for the design’s materials concept.

Working in a multi-disciplinary team of Thornton Tomasetti, Max Fordham, Neill Woodger Acoustics, lighting specialists Jason Bruges, the Grimshaw-led design will function as a civic icon, visitor attraction, a location for study, as well as a place to conserve, preserve and restore. Resolving the conflicts between the needs of the visitor and the needs of the collection were crucial to the competition-winning scheme. Grimshaw’s design will embrace the collection in all its diversity; its works on paper, paintings, video, media installations, performance art and music events are integral to the design of the visitor spaces.

The museum is set to open to the public in 2019.

Koc Contemporary Art Museum by Grimshaw Architects

Koc Contemporary Art Museum by Grimshaw Architects

Koc Contemporary Art Museum. Photos: Courtesy Grimshaw Architects

Interview with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in ---2013---, September

Art Critic and Writer Maja Markovic in Conversation with Mexican-Canadian electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer about his inspirations, his work and his new commissioned work at Borusan Contemporary.

To read the full interview you can download the digital version of exhibist magazine here.

To begin with, please tell us a little about your work. What is it you endeavour to discover or reveal in your art? When asked about what you do, how would you describe your artistic practice?

My work is mostly at the intersection of architecture and performance art. I develop audiovisual platforms for public interaction: many pieces are about self-representation, intimacy, agency and the key idea that absence and presence are not opposites. The content of my work is often derived from participation, typically through technologies that are both violent and seductive.

Which works do you consider particularly significant in your oeuvre and could you tell us more about them?

"Voz Alta" was a memorial for the 40th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco student massacre in Mexico City. For this project an uncensored megaphone placed at the site of the killings converted people's voices into powerful light beams and FM radio signals that could be seen and heard from everywhere in the city.

As the modern world has become divided between digital and analog realities, the lines between the imagined world, dreams, and ‘the real’ have become increasingly obscure. How much do you want your installations to retain their technical presence and to what extent do you aim for suspension of disbelief?

I work with dissimulation rather than simulation. I don't want anyone to suspend their disbelief, exactly the opposite: I aim for everyone to be complicit with the artificiality of the project.

Your ‘relational’ art is reliant on a relationship between the artwork and the public, inhabiting spaces and creating zones of communication. Tell us about the importance of platforms of viewing in your art. Is there a particular medium or method of display with which you enjoy working most?

Certainly work in public space is the most rewarding from the perspective of diversity and unchoreographed behaviour. This is not to say that public space is "neutral" or completely unpredictable, but taking the same project from one city to another affords great surprises.

Tell us more about your newly commissioned work ‘Vicious Circular Breathing, 2013’ at Borusan Contemporary.

Vicious Circular Breathing is a hermetically-sealed installation that consists of a transparent glass room where people enter and breathe air that was already breathed by past participants. The breath is visualized using 61 brown paper bags which inflate and deflate within the normal range of human respiration, 8,000 and 30,000 times each day. The piece uses organ-like motorized bellows to make the stale air circulate and a set of electromagnetic valves to distribute the air to the bags. As the bags "breathe" the crackling paper and the soft hum of the air flowing through the ribbed tubing create an eerie sound for the whole installation. People are invited to enter the glass room through a decompression chamber and, once inside, the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are monitored constantly: two emergency doors open automatically in case these reach dangerous levels. It’s totally optional, obviously, to walk in and breathe the recycled air or just stay outside and watch the valves, the room and the brown paper bags inflate and deflate.

What does the future have to bring in your work and explorations?

My next piece is a collaboration with polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko for the International Architecture Biennial in Beijing. He is an artist that I have always admired and I am thrilled to be able to work with him.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's works are on show at Borusan Contemporary Istanbul until 16 February 2014.

Vicious Circular Breathing at Borusan Contemporary

Vicious Circular Breathing at Borusan Contemporary
Vicious Circular Breathing, Installation View at Borusan Contemporary 2013. Photos: Anna Zizlsperger

Permanent Venue for Turkey at Venice Biennale

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: The Pavillion of Turkey at Biennale Architettura 2014

On the initiation of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and with the gracious support of 21 sponsors, Turkey is obtaining a long-term venue in the Venice Biennale, one of world's leading contemporary art and architecture events. The allotment of 20 years (from 2014 to 2034) at Arsenale, one of the two main venues of the event, will allow the Pavilion of Turkey to take part for the first time this year in the International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts will be the coordinator of the Pavilion of Turkey that will take part in the Venice Biennale's both International Art Exhibition and Architecture Exhibition for the next 20 years. İKSV has already been coordinating the Pavilion of Turkey at the International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, since 2007.

The sponsoring persons and institutions that have contributed in providing Turkey with a permanent venue in the Venice Biennale include Akbank, Mehveş-Dalınç Arıburnu, Nezih Barut, Ali Raif Dinçkök, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Füsun-Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Oya-Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Enka Foundation, Nesrin Esirtgen, Eti Gıda San. ve Tic. AŞ, Kadir Has University, Öner Kocabeyoğlu, MAÇAKIZI, Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu, Polimeks İnşaat, SAHA Association, Taha Tatlıcı, T. Garanti Bankası AŞ, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Zafer Yıldırım, and Yıldız Holding AŞ.

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Rem Koolhaas, will be held from 7 June to 23 November 2014. The biennale, entitled "Fundamentals", will feature a number of country pavilions in Giardini and Arsenale, besides the main exhibition.
The 55th International Art Exhibition attracted over 475 thousand visitors.

The 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, ran from 1 June to 24 November 2013. The Pavilion of Turkey in the Artigliere, Arsenale presented Ali Kazma's video series "Resistance" under the curatorship of Emre Baykal. The Venice Biennale, which featured 88 country pavilions including Turkey, besides curator Massimiliano Gioni's main exhibition entitled "The Encyclopaedic Palace", was visited by over 475,000 people during the six months it was open.

The Pavilion of Turkey is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, sponsored by FIAT and Vehbi Koç Foundation and realised under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Republic of Turkey, with the contribution of the Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry. SAHA Association gave support to the production of Ali Kazma's video series "Resistance".

The curator of the Turkish Pavilion in the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, will be announced by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts in 2014.

Venice Biennale Pavilion of Turkey, Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia
Venice Biennale Pavilion of Turkey, Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

The Pavilion of Turkey at Biennale Architettura 2014

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: Permanent Venue for Turkey at Venice Biennale

The Pavilion of Turkey, which, for the first time, will participate in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition that will run from 7 June through to 23 November 2014, has Murat Tabanlıoğlu appointed as curator and Pelin Derviş as project coordinator. Coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the Pavilion of Turkey will be located at Arsenale, one of the main venues of the Venice Biennale, for 20 years from 2014 to 2034, thanks to the contributions of 21 supporters that allowed the allotment.

An alumnus of the Vienna Technical University Architecture Department, Murat Tabanlıoğlu had already gained valuable experience through his works with distinguished architects in Vienna when he returned to Turkey in 1990 to found the Tabanlıoğlu Architecture with his father Dr. Hayati Tabanlıoğlu. He designed the Doğan Media Center, a home also to the Milliyet Newspaper. Mr. Tabanlıoğlu teaches architectural studio at various universities, including Bilgi University, and gives lectures both home and abroad. As a jury member, in addition to his international contributions, such as at AIA and WAF, Mr. Tabanlıoğlu served on the Master Jury for the 2013 Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

Pelin Derviş graduated from the Istanbul Technical University in architecture and completed her master’s degree in history of architecture at the same university. After working in her architectural practice on projects of various types and dimensions ranging from urban inventory projects to spatial and object design for 14 years she focused on the cultural production aspect of architecture. Working as an independent editor and curator in Istanbul, architect Pelin Derviş' special fields of interest include the documentation of modern architectural production and the contemporary urban issues of Istanbul.

IKSV has formed a Scientific Committee to provide curator Murat Tabanlıoğlu and project coordinator Pelin Derviş with the necessary academic support and counselling in their project for the biennial. The Scientific Committee comprises academicians who work on architecture and history of architecture, including Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture lecturer Prof. Dr. Arzu Erdem, Istanbul Şehir University Sociology Department lecturer and Director of the Center for Urban Studies Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç, Aga Khan Award for Architecture former General Secretary and President of the World Architecture Community Prof. Dr. Suha Özkan, and Mardin Artuklu University Dean of Faculty of Architecture Prof. Dr. Uğur Tanyeli.

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, will be curated by Rem Koolhaas, on 7 June - 23 November 2014. The biennale, entitled "Fundamentals", will feature a number of country pavilions in Giardini and Arsenale, besides the main exhibition. The details regarding the Pavilion of Turkey will be announced in the first months of 2014.

Turkey in the Venice Biennale for the next 20 years On the initiation of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and with the gracious support of 21 persons and institutions, Turkey is obtaining a long-term venue in the Venice Biennale, one of the world's leading contemporary art and architecture events. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts will be coordinating the Pavilion of Turkey that will take part in the Venice Biennale's both International Art Exhibition and Architecture Exhibition, and the commissioner will be IKSV's International Projects Coordinator Tuna Ortaylı.

The supporting persons and institutions that have contributed in providing Turkey with a permanent venue in Venice include Akbank, Mehveş-Dalınç Arıburnu, Nezih Barut, Ali Raif Dinçkök, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Füsun-Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Oya-Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Enka Foundation, Nesrin Esirtgen, Eti Gıda San. ve Tic. AŞ, Kadir Has University, Öner Kocabeyoğlu, MAÇAKIZI, Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu, Polimeks İnşaat, SAHA Association, Taha Tatlıcı, T. Garanti Bankası AŞ, Vehbi Koç Foundation, Zafer Yıldırım, and Yıldız Holding AŞ.

Murat Tabanlioglu (Curator) and Pelin Dervis (Project Coordinator)
Murat Tabanlioglu (Curator) and Pelin Dervis (Project Coordinator)

Baksi Museum awarded The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2014

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: The Pavillion of Turkey at Biennale Architettura 2014

The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2014 has been awarded to the Baksi Museum in Bayburt (Turkey) by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

This museum is an example of the personal vision of its founder, Hüsamettin Koçan, and 160 contemporary artists around him, who aspired to bring a high standard of art and design to an under-developed rural area of Northern Anatolia. The museum aims to bridge the gap between the centre and the periphery, helping the local population to remain culturally and economically rooted in their territory and to sustain cultural memory by reviving traditional weaving and textile manufacturing.

According to Museum Prize rapporteur Vesna Marjanovic (Serbia, SOC), “this museum, its governance and the activities associated with it, provide a very inspiring model of how the principles of the Council of Europe Faro Convention on the value of cultural heritage for society can be adopted to fit locally.”

The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage.

The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma.

The prize is decided by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards.

Recent winners include the Museum of Liverpool, United Kingdom (2013), the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne, Germany (2012) and the Portimão Museum in Portugal (2010).

Baksi Museum Bayburt
Baksi Museum, Bayburt. Photo: Courtesy Baksi Museum

Burak Delier receives New Iniva Fund

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: Fatma Bucak receives 13th Illy Present Future Prize

Turkish artist Burak Delier, whose work explores capitalism through art, was announced the first to benefit from Iniva's new Commissions and Exhibitions Fund. Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) will commission new work from the artist to be exhibited for the first time in the UK in March 2014.

The Iniva Commissions and Exhibitions Fund will provide the next generation of artists from around the world with the opportunity to create new work, offering them creative freedom in terms of content, and supporting them to take their careers to the next level. The Fund has been established through the proceeds of an auction of works generously donated by artists who were supported by Iniva earlier in their careers. The first works, sold at auction through Sotheby's in February 2013, were donated by Yinka Shonibare MBE, Mona Hatoum, David Adjaye and Peter Randall-Page.

The new commission from Burak Delier, to be shown at Rivington Place from 26 March - 17 May 2014, will enable him to critique society in a way that is relevant to Turkey and beyond. Delier's work incorporates guerrilla art tactics and absurdist humour, often employing the strategies of the neo-liberal media with which he disagrees. Delier engages with questions of how artistic and capitalistic forms of production overlap. His practice takes on various media from video to installation and is often produced with others, whether through performances, or by the participants becoming part of his research to produce the artworks themselves.

Delier's 2012 work Collector's Wish explored the questions of how an artist reconciles his integrity with the vested interests of the commissioner, and whose agency, the artist or the commissioner, the resulting artwork ultimately expresses. In the work Delier documented his conversations with a well-known art patron, displaying what he was instructed to create.

"We're delighted to be launching the first Iniva Commissions and Exhibitions Fund artist. It is important artists are given the freedom to question society and this Fund gives them the support and opportunity to do just that. Burak Delier is not only commenting on the Turkish situation, but an economic system upon which so many of our societies are based." Comments Tessa Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Iniva.

"Iniva played an important role in helping to establish my career at a crucial stage. I'm delighted that my donation is helping them to support other international artists and give them a significant platform in London." Yinka Shonibare MBE, artist.

"The work of Iniva is vital for maintaining a healthy visual arts ecology. The growing internationalisation of contemporary art has been shaped by organisations such as Iniva and initiatives like their Commissions and Exhibitions Fund enables new voices to be heard." Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern.

Burak Delier, Crisis and Control, 2013, video still
Burak Delier, Crisis and Control, 2013, video still. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Pilot Gallery Istanbul

Fatma Bucak wins the 13th Illy Present Future prize

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: Burak Delier receives new Iniva Fund

Fatma Bucak (Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin) and Caroline Achaintre (Arcade Gallery, London) are both winners of the 13th edition of the illy Present Future Prize

The winners of the 13th edition of the illy Present Future Prize, dedicated to the most creative emerging talents, have been nominated by Carlo Bach, Art Director of illycaffè and Sarah Cosulich Canarutto, Director of Artissima 2013.

The jury panel has awarded Fatma Bucak with the following motivations:

“Fatma Bucak employed twelve elderly men – as both performers and audience – to create a kind of improvised theatre. Using humour – that is reminiscent of Samuel Beckett – her work touches on the complex narratives of place, gender and history in unexpected and refreshing ways.”

Since 2012 the partnership between Artissima and illycaffè has been strengthened by a formula attesting their growing and mutual collaboration. This year the illy Present Future Prize will allow the setting up of an art exhibition scheduled for 2014, in fall, at Castello di Rivoli dedicated to the winners selected by the international jury among twenty-four participants. This decision stresses once more the will shared by Artissima and illycaffè to keep developing in an innovative way the experience made in the international art research.

illy Present Future becomes therefore a further improvement of the exhibition project of Turin art institutions, and bears witness of a direct link between the research of Artissima on the global young art, and the will of Turin museums to be constantly committed to interpret contemporary art in a critic and profitable way.

Curatorial Committee of Present Future – ARTISSIMA 2013

Luigi Fassi (coordinator), Visual Curatore Arti Visive, Steirischer Herbst, Graz
Alex Gartenfeld, Curatore, Moca North Miami, Miami
Krist Gruijthuijsen, Direttore Artistico, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz
Robert Leckie, Curatore, Gasworks, London
Qinyi Lim, Curatrice, Para Site, Hong Kong
Alice Motard, Vice Director and Chief Curator, Raven Row, London

Jury of illy Present Future Prize – ARTISSIMA 2013

Defne Ayas, Director, Witte De With Center of Contemporary Art, Rotterdam
Matthew Higgs, Director, White Columns, New York
Beatrice Merz, Director, Castello di Rivoli, Turin
Joanna Mytkowska, Director, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw

Fatma Bucak: Blessed are you who come - conversation on the Turkish-Armenian border (2012)
Fatma Bucak, Blessed are you who come - conversation on the Turkish-Armenian border (2012) Image: Courtesy the artist

Canan Tolon Exhibition at Parasol Unit in London

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: Burak Delier receives the new Iniva Fund

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art will present a solo exhibition of works by Turkish-born artist Canan Tolon from 15 January - 16 March 2014. This, her first major exhibition in a London institution, provides in-depth insight into her works from 1986 to the present day. It includes Futur imparfait, 1986–1999, a series of 33 ink-wash and crayon figurative drawings that were recently acquired by the British Museum. At Parasol unit they will be on show all together for the first time in the UK.

Canan Tolon was born in Istanbul and grew up in various European countries. After earning her baccalauréat from the École Française d’Istanbul in Turkey, in 1975, she studied design in Edinburgh and London. In 1980, she received a BA from Middlesex Polytechnic / Architectural Association, London, and that same year moved to the Bay Area of San Francisco to study for a Masters in Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating in 1983 she worked for about ten years in several architecture offices while continuing her work in the visual arts. Her paintings and installations have been exhibited internationally. She has works in a number of major public collections, including the British Museum, London; Istanbul Modern; IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and the Arts); the Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul, Turkey; and the di Rosa Collection, Napa, USA.

Canan Tolon lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA and in Istanbul, Turkey.

This exhibition is curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder/Director of Parasol unit.

Canan Tolon: Sidesteps is accompanied by a comprehensive book, including an artist interview by Ziba Ardalan and essays by Bill Berkson and John Yau, published by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. A related programme of educational events at the gallery will include lectures, poetry readings, animation and storytelling workshops.

Canan Tolon, ‘Untitled’, 1999.
Left: Canan Tolon, ‘Untitled’, 1999. Black oil paint on Mylar, Sheet size 36 x 28 cm (14 x 11 in). Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Benjamin Blackwell Canan Tolon Untitled

Right: Canan Tolon, ‘Untitled (polyptych)’, 2001. Rust and pigment on canvas, 267 x 274 cm (105 x 108 in). Collection Pınar and Hakan Ertaç. Photo: Hakan Aydoğan

Moiz Zilberman merging his Istanbul Galleries

on Monday, 28 October 2013. Posted in Art News, January, ---2014---

Related Article: Baksi Museum awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2014

Zilberman is merging their sister galleries CDA-Projects and Galeri Zilberman and will operate under the name Galeri Zilberman at their existing venues on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Misir Apartmani in Istanbul.

The galleries will continue to host catalogued exhibitions of their represented artists, as well as incorporate new ideas and projects of guest curators in their program. Galeri Zilberman will also continue offering financial support and visibility to young artists by hosting Genc Yeni Farkli (Young Fresh Different), as well as promoting artistic projects with a 10.000 Euro grant. In its third year, lecture performances, debates and talks shaped around the Grant which will still be organised at Kat1 in Misir Apartmani’s 1st floor.

Turkish Galleries at The Armory Show and Art Dubai

on Saturday, 08 March 2014. Posted in February

Related Article: Contemporary Art From Turkey on Sale at Sotheby's

From 6-9 March 2014 The Armory Show, one of the leading international art fairs took place on Piers 92 & 94 in central Manhattan. This year two Istanbul Galleries exhibited at the fair: Dirimart with Peter Zimmermann, Ekrem Yalcindag, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Ebru Uygun and Bjorn Melhus, and Pi Artworks showing Susan Hefuna.

At Art Dubai, from 19-23 March 2014 Istanbul Gallery Galerist will show works by :mentalKLINIK, Haluk Akakce, Rasim Aksan, Kendell Geers, Idil Ilkin, Serkan Ozkaya Seza Paker, Arslan Sukan, Ali Emir Tapan, Elif Uras and Nil Yalter and Pi Artworks (based in Istanbul and London) will exhibit works by Susan Hefuna.

Dirimart Gallery's booth at The Armory Show, New York
Dirimart Gallery's booth at The Armory Show, New York. Photo: Courtesy Dirimart Gallery

Susan Hefuna, Cityscape Cairo, 2001, Photography
Susan Hefuna, Cityscape Cairo, 2001, Photography

Deutsche Bank Collection acquires work by Şükran Moral

on Saturday, 08 March 2014. Posted in February

Related Article: Marc Qinn's The Sleep of Reason at ARTER

Deutsche Bank Collection has acquired the last edition of Şükran Moral’s photographic work “Despair”. Founded in 1979, the Deutsche Bank Collection’s initial aim was to support young artists from Germany, but as the bank has grown exponentially, the collection has also expanded its acquisition policy to international artists, both emerging and established, from different parts of the world.

Şükran Moral is one of the most important performance artists in Turkey. Her work, which is in major collections including the British Museum, London; Istanbul Museum of Modern Art; ARTER, Istanbul; Deutsche Telekom, Germany, has been exhibited in numerous museum exhibitions and international biennials, including the Venice Biennale and the Istanbul Biennial. Her film “Despair” was recently on view in a two-person exhibition at Galeri Zilberman, alongside prominent Austrian video and performance artist VALIE EXPORT (September –October 2013).

Şükran Moral, Despair, 2003, Digital c-print
Şükran Moral, Despair, 2003, Digital c-print. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Zilberman Gallery

Marc Quinn's The Sleep of Reason at ARTER

on Saturday, 08 March 2014. Posted in February

Related Article: Tayfun Serttaş first guest of Cité des Arts for 2014

Art Critic and Writer Anna Zizlsperger in conversation with Turkish art theoretician and curator Selen Ansen about "The Sleep of Reason," the current Marc Quinn exhibition at ARTER.

To read the full interview you can download the digital version of exhibist magazine issue 2 here.

Your academic background is in Cinema and Visual Arts and Modern Literature, as well as in Theory and Practice of the Arts. Is it right to say that up until recently you were mostly working as a lecturer/professor, art theorist and writer?

Yes, I have been working as a professor in Aesthetics and Theory of Art and also as an independent writer for a few years—I currently teach at Istanbul Bilgi University in the Masters Programme of Philosophy and Social Thought.

What made you decide to become a curator, and how do you think your academic background influences your work?

I did not, so to speak, decide to become a curator although I’ve been curious about the process of making exhibitions since I started collaborating with artists (as a writer). I had participated in the organisation of a few artistic events in France, but I didn’t make the „jump“ into curating until my experience at ARTER. I owe this to Emre Baykal and to Melih Fereli, who invited me to Berlinde de Bruyckere’s show in 2012 to work with ARTER’s team as a guest curator. My academic background probably has an unavoidable influence on my approach; it’s difficult for me to estimate in which way exactly or to what extent, but I suppose my theoretical ground and subjects of interest play a role in the way I conceive a thread or build a relationship with the artworks. Yet, I also enjoy and feel the need to be „disoriented“ by subjects and practices that I’m not familiar with on a theoretical level.

You have been writing on Francesco Albano, Berlinde de Bruyckere and Marc Quinn recently. Is there an element which connects these artists, and why did you choose to work on them in particular?

In addition to the variety of mediums and materials these artists are using, they all have their own personal approach, their own „aesthetics“ in terms of the perception their works are shaping, their own view(s) on the world that affects them and which they are affecting in return. Along with these differences that distinguish their approaches, I think the most explicit element that connects their art is their common interest for the body, which instead of being solely „represented“ or valorized in one particular dimension, is unfolding the plurality of its realms. Berlinde de Bruyckere, Marc Quinn and Francesco Albano are each disturbing the anthropocentric gaze, restoring the repressed side of life and linking our being with what we would prefer to call the „inhuman“ or „non-human“. The body becomes the site of a collective and individual memory, the trace of past and present desires and wounds, the means for our self-construction and perception of the world. What also connects their respective approaches is, according to me, the way they relate to or interpret an artistic tradition. The „contemporary“ feature of their art is not restricted to the actuality of the themes they deal with or the mediums they use—It is also built into a dialogue with what we usually consider as past and distant. I believe my collaborations with Berlinde de Bruyckere, Francesco Albano and Marc Quinn are the first encounters that have evolved around what I would call „shared affinities“. The presence of the body certainly has importance since one of my own main subjects of research revolves around the formation of corporeality, physicality and the symbolism of flesh throughout the history of art and history of thought.

The exhibition “The Sleep of Reason” at Arter brings together more than 30 works Marc Quinn has produced since the year 2000. Was it a deliberate decision to not show his earlier works?

It was not a deliberate decision—meaning taken from the start as some kind of statement—but rather the result of the selection of works I was talking about, which Marc Quinn and I made in relation to the thread(s) of the show. The Sleep of Reason“ is not conceived as a retrospective, nor does it intend to tell the audience a „story“ from one, single perspective. Rather, it intends to unfold some of the major themes Marc Quinn is exploring (our relationship to nature, body and identity, evolution, history and geography) and to allow a plurality of echoing perspectives. Since Marc Quinn’s works are being shown for the first time in Istanbul, or anywhere in Turkey, it was important for us to present a wide range of his paintings and sculptures to the audience, including some of his seminal ones (such as Self, Zombie Boy or The Complete Marble series). Marc was also willing to show his latest works, including those which connect more specifically with the themes of History and Geography. I’m very glad we have the opportunity to include these works, most of them being exhibited for the first time; they enrich and extend the perspective of the show towards new horizons by linking it with very actual issues.

Which work is your personal highlight of the show?

It’s difficult for me to make a choice, but I would say first of all the Flesh Painting series, which impressed me a lot (visually and conceptually) when I first saw them in Marc’s studio and which are now deploying their uncanny and fascinating presence in dialogue with the other works. To me, besides the impressive physicality of their subject, the Flesh Painting series concretize some of Marc’s major concerns, such as the passage from figuration to abstraction or from materiality to immateriality in order to create an in-between zone where certainties fade away. This can also be sensed in the underwater paintings (Before and After Humans) that are present in the show as well.

Marc Quinn, Flesh Painting (On a Homeopathic Diet), 2013, oil on canvas, 279 x 419 cm. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography
Marc Quinn, Flesh Painting (On a Homeopathic Diet), 2013, oil on canvas, 279 x 419 cm. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

Were you approached by Arter to curate the show or did you propose it to them?

I was approached by Arter and, more specifically, invited by Emre Baykal. Before we started the project, it was also important for me that Marc agreed to our collaboration.

The exhibition’s title is inspired by Goya’s etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”. You left out the second part of the work’s title — Why is that, and can you give us a short explanation of why you chose that title?

„The Sleep of Reason“ is a title suggested by Marc Quinn; I liked it immediately for its suggestive force and also for the way it pursues, indirectly, Marc’s interpretation of art history. In my point of view, independent from the reference to Goya’s etching, the title reflects and accurately expresses the thread of the show revolving around the notion of threshold. Indeed, in Goya’s etching and title there is already an ambiguity or a transition between a state of consciousness and unconsciousness, between reality and fantasy. Goya’s etching is part of a series entitled Los Caprichos that he made in reaction to the society of his time, which he considered to be unequal and „morally depraved“. The „monsters“ he has depicted contribute in creating the allegorical features and political aspect of his etchings.

With this title, Marc is both indirectly referring to Goya’s original etching and departing from it, especially from its moral content, specific historical context and darkness. Yet, his approach shares several aspects with Goya’s: the wish not to faithfully imitate nature but to remain faithful to its dynamic; showing the reversibility of things; and a concern for History. Marc Quinn’s paintings and sculptures are „contemporary“ in the way that they make use of the production means of their time and in the way that they refer to our „images,“ presenting and materializing a History in movement that also points to the globalized world we now live in. The „monsters“ and „chimeras“ Goya imagined in order to reveal and criticize the decline of values have now lost their „monstrosity“ in terms of the fear and „counter-nature“ aspect that the figure of the monster was traditionally linked with and the extraordinary nature it was believed to embody. Thus, the beings, things, events and phenomena re-presented by Marc Quinn are still spectacular but no longer „monstrous“; they are inspired by life itself, surpassing it without ever leaving it.

How did you go about choosing the works and connecting them together in the show?

Marc Quinn and I selected the works together; it was a long-term process held in regard to the thread of the show, which also took into consideration the spatial characteristics of Arter’s exhibition venue.

What kind of development can you note in his works, comparing those from the 90s to more current pieces?

This diversity that characterises Marc’s art goes hand in hand with a certain continuity in the themes he explores or, for example, in the way he has been connecting art and science since his first works from the 90’s. This continuity can also be seen in the way he stages and questions the increasing role of technology today—not only in the production/reception of an artwork, but also in the way we shape ourselves and mediatise the world. In relation to this, we may say from a formal perspective that the spectacular aspect of Marc Quinn’s works has become stronger with the complex technical processes they result from, the formal and perceptive possibilities these technical means are creating and fullfilling. From a more thematical perspective, instead of making shifts, I think his approach is more about expanding scales and playing with limits. Marc’s latest paintings, drawings and sculptures express his growing interest in human evolution as part of the evolution of the universe and in showing, on a closer scale, his concern for the contemporary world’s changes on a political, cultural and social level.

In May 2013 Quinn had an extensive solo exhibition at the Cini Foundation in Venice, curated by Germano Celant. Did you take that show into consideration beforehand, and how do you feel your concept of showing Marc Quinn at Arter is different to Celant’s approach?

We started preparing Marc’s show at ARTER when the one curated by Germano Celant in Venice was being finalised. I am very glad I could visit it twice and discover the connections Germano Celant and Marc had highlighted. I found the exhibition impressive, especially in the way it built a dialogue between works from different periods, and the way it created an almost „organic“ relationship between the inner and outer spaces of the Cini Foundation. To me, the first difference between the two shows is, apart from the curatorial statements and choices, linked to the site and architectural specificity of each venue. The Cini Foundation provides a horizontal space, which also allows for artworks, especially monumental ones, to be shown outdoors; its insularity and contact with the water element also has great importance since water bears meaning in Marc’s works. In contrast, ARTER’s venue offers a vertical space consisting of four floors and is located on one of the main, most crowded and „strategic“ streets of the city. This urban feature of ARTER’s exhibition venue has had an indirect role in the way we conceived the show as an interaction, a communion and a tension between the inside and the outside. Besides Marc’s latest paintings and sculptures that will be shown for the first time at ARTER, the two exhibitions share some of his older works in common, although they display them in a very different arrangement; it always amazes me to see to what extent an artwork unfolds a new dimension within each new dialogue it engages in.

In your curatorial proposal you state that “Goya takes liberties with the real and the plausible in order to hold out a frightening mirror to his contemporaries”. Would you say Quinn has a similar approach with his works?

I would take out the word „frightening“! It is certainly true that Marc also „takes liberties with the real,“ but he does so in order to, as I was saying before, faithfully present its dynamic, force of transformation and renewal. The mirror element is interesting, since a mirror is supposed to be reflective but can be distorting at the same time; according to me, the models Marc chooses and works with operate as some kind of mirrors when they become artworks. Yet, instead of reflecting an image of the same, they reveal the sameness that is hidden in the core of the different.

Why do you think it’s so important to draw attention to the theme of the “threshold” and „transition“, as stated in your curatorial concept, as well as the categories that shape our understanding of the world?

I suggested the theme of the „threshold“ with regard to the processes and displacements the works are actualizing. It seems to me that we can sense the materialisation of multiple thresholds and transitions in the way Marc Quinn gathers the poles of life, engages the transformation of materials, or blurs the distinction between art and life, nature and culture. The notion of „threshold“ adds a fundamental nuance to the notion of „limit“ that we are accustomed to experiencing and conceiving as a constraint or an impediment. A threshold remains abstract unless it is concretized by what it separates and unites at the same time. It is never given nor static, rather ongoingly created and moving. I think the perceptive experience Marc’s works are inviting us to join also points to the fact that although we are living in a globalised world where things and spaces are connected (and more easily reachable) and identities are easily changeable, we remain nevertheless dependent on historical categories of thought that tend to establish strict borders and boundaries. This can be extended to the way „civilised“ societies produce and exclude the „different“ from what is established and valorised as „normal“ and acceptable.

How do you feel this exhibition relates to Istanbul?

Marc Quinn’s works draws attention to the particular by linking it to the universal, or rather by revealing the universal dimension of a particular (being or event). In that sense, his art transcends geographical borders and contextual, country or site-specific dynamics. But this very universality that his art is achieving also allows our individual and particular experiences to be echoed, revived and to „find home“ on a stage. As an example, his new series of work The Creation of History —which was first inspired by the riots in London—reproduce on tapestries images of protest or destruction from all around the world. The installation can be seen as a new mapping of the world that takes form as established (geographical) borders dissolve. Although Istanbul is not directly „represented“, these images will certainly very much echo—both for a local as well as for an international audience visiting the show—the Gezi protest movement which occured last summer and whose images have been paradoxically „silenced“ by the local media but were internationally broadcasted. Thus, what can be seen as an absence turns into a powerful presence that conveys the experience of individuals and allows it free reign. This mapping is that of a common, collective memory in action, which is ongoingly built and lived in the present, and which forms a common ground for History.

Selen Ansen, curator of The Sleep of Reason at Arter
Left: Selen Ansen, Curator of Marc Quinn - The Sleep of Reason at Arter
Right: Marc Quinn, The Creation of History, 2012, jacquard tapestry, 250 x 160 cm. Photo: Marc Quinn Studio

Are you planning to work on more curatorial projects in the future and if so, which would be of interest?

Yes, I’m starting to work for the show of a Turkish contemporary artist, but it’s too soon for me to talk about it more precisely. On the other hand, I’m also more and more interested into sound and silence related artworks (not only musical) and the sensory or perceptive experiences they create. Most of all, I believe projects are nourished or inspired by life experiences, by encounters with artworks, or by an artist’s „world“; therefore I am willing to be as open as possible to these.

The Sleep of Reason is on view at ARTER until 27 April 2014.

Marc Quinn, Map of where you can't see the stars, Atlantic, August 25 2013, Stuart Hall Sculpture
Left: Marc Quinn, Map of Where You Can't See the Stars, Atlantic, August 25 2013, oil on canvas, diameter: 200 cm. Photo: Jack Hems
Right: Marc Quinn, Stuart Penn, 2000, marble, 166 x 99 x 54 cm. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates. Courtesy of Marc Quinn Studio

Basak Senova curates Helsinki Photography Biennial

on Saturday, 08 March 2014. Posted in February

Related Article: Permanent Venue for Turkey at Venice Biennale

Helsinki Photography Biennial is a series of events on photo/lens-based contemporary art, organized every two years in spring by Union of Artist Photographers in Finland. The next biennial is held from 27 March to 14 May, 2014.

In 2014, the biennial aims to examine causal relations regarding ecological issues. The biennial will be curated by Basak Senova, a curator and designer based in Istanbul. Basak Senova’s curatorial framework addresses fallacies of ecological knowledge and fosters collaborative connections between ecological data and photography-based archives. Throughout the course of this process, archives will be the essential tool of the biennial. Furthermore, Branko Franceschi and Basak Senova also co-curate a special section which focuses on cultural and ideological critique.

Participating artists from Turkey are Barbaros Kayan and Serkan Taycan.

In addition, HPB14 has invited Mustarinda Association (Finland) to develop the theme of the 2014 biennial. Mustarinda Association has initiated four research-based artistic processes to critically examine the development of images of nature, focusing on archives, architecture, forests and energy. The results will be exhibited as a part of HPB14. Within these processes, theoretical work is tied to bodily experience through workshops carried out in the Mustarinda House, located next to an old-growth forest in central Finland.

HPB14 is produced by Union of Artist Photographers/Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in collaboration with The Finnish Museum of Photography.

HPB14 is generously supported by: Alfred Kordelin Foundation, British Council, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Sweden, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Frame Visual Art Finland, Ministry of Education and Culture, SAHA, Istanbul & The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.

Basak Senova, Curator of Helsinki Photography Biennial 2014
Basak Senova, Curator of Helsinki Photography Biennial 2014. Photo: Courtesy HbP
Barbaros Kayan, from the series Occupy Taksim, 2013
Barbaros Kayan, from the series Occupy Taksim, 2013. Photo: Courtesy HbP

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan at Delfina Foundation

on Monday, 05 May 2014. Posted in May, ---2014---

Related Article: Andy Warhol in Istanbul at Pera Museum

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan was recently invited to participate at the Delfina Foundation Residency in London in summer 2014.

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan was born in Istanbul in 1984 with Greek-Armenian heritage. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University in 2006. Since then, she has held several solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. Her work relates to questions of identity, belonging, xenophobia, socio-cultural themes and self memory. She uses metaphors from iconographic elements, stories, quotes and self narratives.

In 2013, Büyüktaşçıyan was nominated for the Turkish finalist of Henkel Art Award 2013. She currently lives and works in Istanbul.

Founded in 2007, Delfina Foundation promotes cross-cultural dialogue and artistic experimentation creating opportunities for emerging and established artists, curators and writers to reflect on what they do, position their practice within relevant global discourse, create career-defining research and commissions, and network with colleagues. They forge international collaborations to build shared platforms to incubate, to present and to discuss common practices and themes.

Hera Buyuktasciyan at Delfina Foundation
Hera Buyuktasciyan. Photo: Courtesy Hera Buyuktasciyan
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