TANAS Berlin is closing its doors

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

Related Article: Koc Contemporary Art Museum opening in 2016

TANAS Berlin is closing its doors after 6 years and says goodbye with an exhibition in cooperation with the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein titled „The Unanswered Question. İskele 2.“

In partnership between Edition Block Berlin (physical and administrative organisation) and Vehbi Koç Foundation Istanbul (financial funding), TANAS could be initiated as a free and independent space in autumn 2007 in order to introduce the latest Turkish art to an international audience in Central Europe. According to Réné Block, his self-imposed task has been accomplished.

Over the years, TANAS was assigned with additional important roles beyond this mission as a stage for artistic pursuit as well as a focal point for further cultural issues. With an extensive educational programme the non-commercial art space established itself as a place for intense exchange between international artists of Turkish origin and curators, authors, students and globetrotters.

Since Block’s first visit there in the early 1990s, the city of Istanbul and several artists living there not only deeply impressed him, but even many years later they will no longer let him go.

A first attempt to introduce that scene, then unknown internationally, began with the İSKELE project at the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart, Bonn and Berlin in 1994. Réné Block’s time as artistic director of the fourth Istanbul Biennial (Orient/ation, 1995) intensified his relationship to the place. The exhibition İSKORPIT, in Berlin in 1998, included artists from the younger generation. Close contacts to the Vehbi Koç Foundation enabled him to plan his commitment more strategically since 2006.

For example, a twelve-volume series of monographs on contemporary Turkish artists was produced with Yapi Kredi Publications. In parallel with those publications, he curated the series Adventure İstiklal, with fifteen exhibitions at the Yapi Kredi Kazim Taskent Art Gallery in Istanbul. Together with Melih Fereli, he established criteria to build an international art collection for a museum for contemporary art that was being constructed. A first peek at the collection was provided by an exhibition titled STARTER, which opened at the ARTER Space for Art, also on İstiklal Street, in 2010.

But the culmination for their collaboration with the Koç Foundation was the founding of a platform for Turkish art in Berlin under the name TANAS in 2007. From the outset, TANAS was planned as a statement on the situation of Turkish art. Despite the twenty-two exhibitions shown there, TANAS was never an institution. TANAS has always retained the form and character of an idea that was able to take shape for a time.

In 1994 the title İskele referred to the moorings of the Bosporus ferries; it stood for start and departure. Twenty years later, İskele2 stands for arrival. TANAS takes its leave with the certainty that Turkish artists have "arrived". This is verified by the long series of TANAS Talks and Dialogues with renowned conversational partners, also to be continued during this show

Edition Block will remain at its present address until 31 December. The new address, also in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, will be announced.

TANAS Berlin

Istanbul Art Week in November

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

Related Article: Turkish Galleries at Frieze

From 4-10 November Istanbul will be the venue for a wide range of cultural and arts events.

Art İstanbul will feature exhibition openings, guided museum and gallery tours, special performances, lectures and educational programs. Numerous museums and galleries as well as art foundations, initiatives and fairs will come together for this special week and open their doors to both local and foreign visitors. Among the participants are Galeri Selvin, Artnext İstanbul, Gallery Linart and Galeri Mana, the Contemporary İstanbul fair, the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and Nobel Prize for literature winner Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence.

Contemporary Istanbul will take place 7-10 November at The Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC) and Istanbul Congress Center (ICC). Contemporary Istanbul is the leading international art fair in Turkey and brings both local and international focus to the dynamic art scene in Turkey's vibrant metropolis every November. Featuring 92 galleries from 21 countries with outstanding works by more than 650 international and Turkish artists, the eighth edition of fair will be the largest event to date.

Half of the works to be exhibited are from the region Balkans, North Africa and East Mediterranean and the rest is from Europe and America. Marlborough Gallery, New York; Galerie Lelong, Paris; Andipa Gallery, London; Opera Gallery, Genoa; Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon; Galeria Javier Lopez, Madrid; Senda, Spain; Michael Schultz, Germany; Klaus Steinmetz, Costa Rica; Dirimart, Galerist, Galeri Mana, Galeri Nev, Pi Artworks, Rampa, Xist from Turkey are among the participating galleries.

Mark Hachem Gallery, Paris / France
Hayat, Les Parfums De Revolte, 2013, Digital prints on transparent film, burnt and enclosed in plexiglas boxes, 20 x 15 x 6 cm. Mark Hachem Gallery, Paris / France at Contemporary Istanbul

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

Turkish Galleries at Frieze 2013

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

Related Article: Istanbul Art Week in November

Istanbul based galleries Rampa and Rodeo exhibited at Frieze in London’s Regent’s Park. (16-18 October 2013)

Rampa Gallery presented Ahmet Oran, Cengiz Çekil, Ergin Cavusoglu, Erinç Seymen, Güçlü Öztekin, Hatice Guleryuz, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Inci Furni, Nevin Aladag, Nilbar Güres, Selma Gürbüz, Servet Kocyigit andVahap Avsar at Frieze 2013.

Rodeo presented works by Ian Law, Lukas Duwenhögger, Apostolos Georgiou, Banu Cennetoğlu, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Eftihis Patsourakis, Emre Hüner, Haris Epaminonda, Iman Issa James Richards Mark Aerial Waller and Shahryar Nashat.

Rampa Gallery booth at Frieze 2013
Rampa Gallery booth at Frieze 2013. Photo: Maja Markovic.

Rodeo Gallery booth at Frieze 2013
Rodeo Gallery booth at Frieze 2013. Photo: Maja Markovic.

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