---2013---

Turkish Pavilion in Venice

on Friday, 14 June 2013. Posted in Art News, June, ---2013---

Related Article: Art World solidarizes with protests in Turkey


Since 1991 Turkey is participating in the Venice Biennale, organising different exhibitions and installations exhibited in different spaces of the Biennale as co-lateral events. The first Pavilion of Turkey was inaugurated in 2003 with the exhibition "in Limbo" showing work by Gül Ilgaz, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Neriman Polat, Nazif Topçuoğlu and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The exhibition was curated and commissioned by Beral Madra.

Since 2007, the Pavilion of Turkey is located in the Artiglierie building of the Arsenale and is organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), supported by a main sponsor institution with the contribution of the Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry. In 2011 FIAT supported the Pavilion of Turkey as the sponsor, which will continue in 2013.

The Committee for the 2013 Pavilion consisted of Adriano Pedrosa (curator, editor, writer), Cengiz Çekil (artist), Cristiana Perrella (curator), Esra Aysun (cultural operator) and Mine Haydaroğlu (editor-in-chief). Emre Baykal was the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey in the 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale in 2013.

In his multi-channel video installation titled “Resistance”, Ali Kazma explores the interventions and strategies that both release the body from its own restrictions and restrict it in order to control it. As an extensive survey on the contemporary discourses, techniques and management tactics developed for the human body, “Resistance” is an attempt to unravel the interventions imposed and practised on the body today.

Ali Kazma, Resistance, Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013
Ali Kazma, Resistance, Exhibition View at Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013. Photo: IKSV/Roman Mensing

Ali Kazma, Resistance, Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013
Ali Kazma, Resistance, Exhibition View at Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013. Photo: IKSV/Roman Mensing

Ali Kazma, Resistance, Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013
Ali Kazma, Resistance, Exhibition View at Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013. Photo: IKSV/Roman Mensing

Ali Kazma, Resistance, Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013
Ali Kazma, Resistance, Exhibition View at Turkish Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2013. Photo: IKSV/Roman Mensing

Hot Spot Istanbul at Haus Konstrukiv in Zurich

on Saturday, 08 June 2013. Posted in Art News, June, ---2013---

Related Article: Turkey at Basel Art Week


From 6 June until 22 September 2013 Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich hosts the first comprehensive exhibition of Turkish abstract, concrete, conceptual and contemporary art in Switzerland titled Hot Spot Istanbul, showing works from over sixty years by more than 80 works of 21 artists. The show was curated by Dorothea Strauss in collaboration with Tankut Aykut from Istanbul based gallery Dirimart.

The project's starting point is the development of Turkish abstract concrete painting since the end of the 1940s and the impact that it has had on a young generation of artists who are active all around the world.

Can Altay was invited to design the entrance hall and created a walk-through sculpture titled “It’s not Istanbul, it’s you.” A special place of reflection, research and encounters emerges. It is a mental echo chamber, which accompanies all other sections.

Can Altay
Can Altay, Entrance Hall Installation View. Photo: Haus Konstruktiv/eddymotion

Can Altay
Can Altay, Entrance Hall Installation View. Photo: Haus Konstruktiv/eddymotion

There are two solo exhibitions by Ebru Uygun (*1974) and Ekrem Yalçındağ (*1964) on the second floor and in the smaller hall on the fourth floor. The large hall on the fourth floor, focuses on conceptual art, with artists such as Serhat Kiraz (*1954), Renée Levi (*1960), Ahmet Öktem (*1951), Sarkis (*1938), Nejat Satı (1982), Arslan Sükan (*1973) and Erdem Taşdelen (*1985). The fifth floor shows four historically significant artists: Nejad Melih Devrim (1923-1995), Mübin Orhon (1924-1981), Ömer Uluç (1931-2010) and Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991), all pioneers of post-1945 Turkish art.

Hot Spot Istanbul - Exhibition View. Arslan Sükan
Hot Spot Istanbul - Exhibition View. Works by Arslan Sükan, 2013. Photo: Haus Konstruktiv/Stefan Altenburger

Can Altay
Hot Spot Istanbul - Exhibition View. Left: Nejat Satı, Untitled, 2013. Right: Sarkis, Video Work, 1998. Photo: Haus Konstruktiv/Stefan Altenburger

Together with Hot Spot Istanbul, works by the “Zurich Concretists” from the in-house collection such as Max Bill (1908-1994), Fritz Glarner (1899-1972), Camille Graeser (1892-1980), Hans Hinterreiter (1902-1989), Verena Loewensberg (1912-1986) and Richard Paul Lohse (1902-1988) are on display.

Garanti Bank’s project SALT opens a branch in Ankara

on Thursday, 28 March 2013. Posted in Art News, March, ---2013---

Past and Future at Istanbul Modern


After opening two branches in Istanbul in 2011 (SALT Beyoglu & SALT Galata), Garanti Bank has opened another branch in Ankara called „SALT Ulus“ in early April 2013. When it comes to Turkey’s art scene during the last years, Ankara has been very much in the shadow of Istanbul, where most of the contemporary cultural activity is happening. SALT, which has grown to be a major initiator of large scale exhibitions, projects and cultural events in Istanbul within the last years, is trying to give new impulses in the field of contemporary art and culture and related research to Ankara as Turkey’s capital.

At SALT’s new location in Ankara, two spaces are reserved for the use of young researchers for periods of four months at a time. While SALT Research at SALT Galata exists as the main open platform for such investigation, selected publications and information from SALT Research are available at SALT Ulus, with many more materials accessible on request

For the begginning phase of the project, the program at SALT Ulus involves already composed projects that have taken place in İstanbul, but include Ankara in their scope. However, on the long term SALT plans to prioritize locally developed programmes and then reversing the current trend these projects may then travel on to İstanbul.

The building of SALT Ulus is the annex of the former Ottoman Bank on Atatürk Bulvarı across one of the Republic’s main landscape projects Gençlik Parkı. Designed by Guilo Mongeri and constructed in 1926, the main building is currently used as Garanti Bank. The annex housing SALT Ulus was a later addition, also commissioned to Mongeri, to provide lodging for traveling bank inspectors. Unused since 2002, this building was repurposed after the establishment of SALT, and opened as SALT Ulus.

SALT Ulus officially opened on 3 April 2013 with its first exhibition named „It was a time of conversation,“ an archive and research project, that calls for a reevaluation of three exhibitions that took place in the early ‘90s in Turkey – Number Fifty/Memory/Recollection II (1993, İstanbul); Globalization-State, Misery, Violence (1995, İstanbul) and GAR [Railway Station] (1995, Ankara) – based on original documents from the period.

The exhibition, first opened in the Open Archive at SALT Galata in February 2012, will be accompanied by parallel programs organized at SALT Ulus. A link to the original project can be found here.

Salt Ulus Building
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Salt Ulus Building
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Salt Ulus, Ankara, Exhibition View:
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Exhibition View "It was a time of conversation", Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Zoë Ryan appointed curator of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial

on Saturday, 27 July 2013. Posted in ---2013---

Hot Spot Istanbul at Haus Konstruktiv Zurich


Zoë Ryan has been appointed as the curator of the second Istanbul Design Biennial, to be held from 18 October to 14 December 2014 by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). British curator and writer Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Since joining the museum in 2006, British curator and writer Zoë Ryan has been building the museum’s first collection of contemporary design in addition to expanding its holdings in historical and contemporary architecture. In addition to her work at the museum, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Art History Department at the School of the Art Institute and at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches a Masters-level seminar focused on critical issues in design.

Prior to working at the museum, Ryan was Senior Curator at the Van Alen Institute in New York, a non-profit public art and architecture organization committed to improving the design of the public realm. In addition to editing the Van Alen Report, the Institute’s quarterly journal, she organised a variety of exhibitions including “The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation”.

Ryan has also held curatorial assistant positions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Ryan is often called upon as a juror and critic and has lectured on her work internationally. She has served on the advisory committee of the Experimenta Design Biennial in Lisbon and was part of the curatorial advisory committee for Spontaneous Interventions in the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. She served as Chair of the Jury for the National Design Awards, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York in 2013, and that same year was part of the jury for the Wheelwright Fellowship, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach to her work, Ryan’s recent exhibitions include “Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects” (2012), the first survey exhibition of this Chicago-based architecture practice; “Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund” (2012), which investigates the construction of narratives in fashion design; “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention” (2011), a major retrospective of this iconic Chicago architect; “Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design,” (2010), an international survey exploring inter-disciplinary practices in architecture and design; “Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design” (2009), the first solo exhibition of the work of this important industrial designer’ and “Graphic Thought Facility: Resourceful Design” (2008), the first solo show of the work of the eponymous London-based studio.

In fall 2012, Fast Company magazine named Zoë Ryan one of the 50 people shaping the future of design.

Zoe Ryan appointed curator of 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial

ArtInternational Istanbul

on Sunday, 11 August 2013. Posted in ---2013---, August

Relaed Article: Zoe Ryan appointed curator of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial


The contemporary art fair ArtInternational Istanbul launching in September for the first time might become a key event on the global arts calendar. Focusing strongly on Turkey and the Middle East, it aims to offer a fresh view of the contemporary art scene. “We’ve been considering Istanbul as a potential location for a new fair over the past few years,” says the show’s co-founder Sandy Angus. “The Turkish art scene is incredibly vibrant and the city offers a persuasive location with immense draw for new and more established collectors.”

Represented at the fair will be international high profile galleries such as Lisson and Pace, Venice’s Contini Art Gallery, Berlin’s Arndt, New York’s Leila Heller and San Francisco’s Hosfelt Gallery. They will be joined by Jeddah’s Athr Gallery, Dubai’s Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde and also an excellent selection of local galleries, including Egeran, Galeri Mana, Pi Artworks, x-ist, Galeri Non, Rampa and Galeri Zilberman.

For the inaugural edition of the fair, ArtInternational is collaborating with various artists from around the world. David Claerbout will present the premiere of his new film,“Travel, 1996-2013” in which a continuous camera movement makes a journey starting in a park, going into a dark European forest, then an Amazonian jungle and finally exiting the forest revealing a nondescript suburban plain. Ahmet Öğüt will present a new work involving light-weight screens playing videos of sign spinners held by people specifically hired for this task, standing at different corners and intersections of the Fair.

Tal Isaac Hadad will present a new series of performances “Piano Constraints’’ for modified grand pianos, playing a selection of pieces by famous composers. This specialization offers new possibilities explored by a series of interventions by Wilhem Latchoumia. The performance artist Gül Kozacıoğlu will be dispersing voices that will be scattered through the air, appearing at unexpected times.

Not-for-profit organizations from Istanbul will be exhibiting different works in a section curated by Özkan Cangüven whilst Başak Şenova will be curating a video-screening programme with a selection of artists from the participating galleries. This original screening programme will be played throughout the Fair.

Özkan Cangüven, Curator of the not-for-profit section, commented, “ArtInternational Istanbul will bring together prominent local and international galleries in its inaugural edition at Haliç Congress Center this September. I believe with the unique venue, commissioned works, curated education and video programming as well as not-for-profit section, it will be a great addition to the emerging Istanbul art scene and will become a must-visit destination and platform for the international art community. The non-profit section this year will host invited not-for-profit spaces, alternative institutions, and artists’ collectives from Turkey. These vital voices of Istanbul's diverse art scene will participate in the dialogue by presenting a glimpse of their distinctive programmes. The focus of the non-profit section this year will be on smaller-scale initiatives to highlight their crucial role in the changing Turkish art scene, believing their participation in this fair will lead to stimulating questions, discussions, and connections for everyone in ArtInternational Istanbul's first year."

Art International Istanbul Director Dyala Nusseibeh
Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of ArtInternational Istanbul

Mom, Am I Barbarian?

on Monday, 12 August 2013. Posted in ---2013---, August

Related Article: ArtInternational Istanbul Announces Artistic Programme


The notion of the public domain as a political forum will be the focal point of the 13th Istanbul Biennial. This highly contested concept will serve as a matrix to generate ideas and develop practices that question contemporary forms of democracy, challenge current models of spatio-economic politics, problematize the given concepts of civilization and barbarity as standardized positions and languages and, above all, unfold the role of contemporary art as an agent that both makes and unmakes what is considered public.

The idea of the public domain has diverse historic, philosophical, theoretical and geo-political roots and definitions. No matter how many interpretations exist, they are fueled by questions of democracy,related to equality, civic rights and political debate. From the existence of an artwork to the freedom of social media and the designation of urban spaces as public, the notion of public domain can cover a vast area where social engagement and political public debate are possible. It is this potentiality of public domain discourse that the exhibition aims to articulate.

The title of the Istanbul Biennial “Mom, am I barbarian?” is a quote from the Turkish poet Lale Müldür’s book of the same title. In the current context, what does it mean to be a barbarian? After all, galvanizing the limits of the civilized, the “barbarian” reflects the “absolute other” in society, circumnavigating the frames of identity politics and multicultural discourses. But, what does the reintroduction of barbarity as a concept reveal today? Is it a response to an urge to go beyond already existing formulas, towards the unknown? It may refer to a state of fragility, with potential for radical change (and/or destruction), thus, to the responsibility to take new positions.Through the unique interventions of artists, the biennial exhibition aims to explore further such pressing questions and will ask if art can foster the construction of new subjectivities to rethink the possibility of “publicness” today.

Focusing on urban public spaces in Istanbul, the Biennial will use public buildings left temporarily vacant by urban transformation. These may include courthouses, schools or military structures,post offices, former transportation hubs like train stations, ex-industrial sites such as warehouses,dockyards and the very contested Taksim Square and Gezi Park. Furthermore, the hallmarks of current urbanism such as shopping malls, hotels and office-residential towers are considered as sites for artistic interventions. Due to the uncertainties related to the highly speculative nature of urban transformation in Istanbul, the allocation of these spaces is quite precarious. In this sense, the Biennial will share the common experience of precarity that the city’s dwellers experience everyday. Whilst art functions in the symbolic realm, it can also directly interfere with reality, the concurrent urban transformation of Istanbul.

Certainly, biennials have been criticized for being catalysts of these transformations in the name of city branding and marketing. Or they have drawn criticism for being sites of political struggles and representations. Yet the open format of biennial exhibitions has the potential to produce new understandings and experiences of the public domain and forms of “publicness”. The 13th Istanbul Biennial will take this challenge to activate a public forum to open up new avenues of thought and imagination.

13th Istanbul Biennial 2013
Fulya Erdemci, Curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled “Mom, am I Barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci and focusing on the theme of public space as a political forum will be free of charge.

The dates of the 13th Istanbul Biennial have also changed: the exhibition will be held between 14 September and 20 October 2013. The exhibition venues and list of participating artists for the 13th Istanbul Biennial organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and sponsored by Koç Holding will be announced in the forthcoming days.

Ayse Erkmen at the Barbican in London

on Monday, 12 August 2013. Posted in ---2013---, August

Related Article: Mom, Am I Barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial


This autumn, the renowned Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen brings an ambitious new installation to The Curve of the Barbican in London. Interspersed throughout the 90-metre space Erkmen presents a series of scenic backdrops that are slowly lowered and raised by an automated fly system. Inspired by the backdrops typically found in the world of theatre, ballet and opera, Erkmen animates eleven large painted cloths of varying dimensions, themes and opacities in a random sequence, dividing the space and suggesting unexpected narratives as the backdrops move up and down.

Responding to the Barbican as a leading venue for all the arts, Erkmen brings an element that is normally in the background to the forefront, as if these backdrops were performers in their own production. The cloths feature a wide range of subjects including a turbulent seascape based on an operatic production of Ariadne, a scene from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, a fairytale landscape, and domestic and futuristic interiors, among others. They are painted by professional scenic artists and skilled theatre design students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Ayşe Erkmen’s new commission opens in The Curve on 24 September 2013.

Ayşe Erkmen said: „I wanted to make something which is usually hidden backstage visible, bringing scenic backdrops into The Curve and setting them into action. By moving them up and down with a fly system the exhibition space will be continually changing, creating ideas of interval both in space and narration.“

The installation expands on Erkmen’s thinking behind Plan B, her work for the 2011 Venice Biennale, in which a functioning water filtration system was transformed into a room-filling sculpture that viewers could move within and around. Trained in sculpture, Erkmen has a strong interest in the aesthetic value of functional objects. She is fascinated by the possibilities of activating machines as part of a work. On a theatrical fly system specially adapted for The Curve, the movement of the backdrops with its scenes and surfaces playfully change depth, light and space, dramatically altering the environment of the gallery as the visitors walk through the space.

Jane Alison, Senior Curator, Barbican Art Gallery, said: „We are thrilled to present acclaimed contemporary artist Ayşe Erkmen in this new commission for The Curve. Installing this work in the space that wraps around the Barbican Hall, Erkmen’s flying backdrops embrace the very soul of the Barbican Centre, a place where the arts have no boundaries.“

Always responding directly to the context of the place in which she exhibits, Erkmen’s large-scale sculptural pieces often highlight a building’s infrastructure and past history. Her commission for The Curve also relates to works such as Under the Roof (2005), which split the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham horizontally with coloured silicon threads, separating the display space below from the Gothic buttresses above in a building that formerly housed a Victorian school.

Ayse Erkmen, Under the Roof, 2005
Ayşe Erkmen, Under the Roof, 2005. Silikon thread in pink, green and yellow, wooden boards, steel bars, fixations. Installation view: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.
Photo: Jerry Hardmann Jones. Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

In a similar manner, Busy Colors (2005), an installation at New York’s Sculpture Center, divided the space with two expanses of coloured, translucent fabric that were raised and lowered by a gantry crane that existed in the space from the time it was a trolley repair shop.

Ayse Erkmen, Busy Colors, 2005

Ayşe Erkmen, Busy Colors, 2005. Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York.
Photo: Oren Slor. Courtesy Sculpture Center and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

The exhibition running from 24 September 2013 until 5 January 2014 is accompanied by a public programme, including a talk with the artist and an artistic theatre workshop.

Anish Kapoor for the first time in Turkey

on Monday, 12 August 2013. Posted in ---2013---, August

Related Article: Ayse Erkmen at the Barbican in London


Turner Prize Winner and one of the world’s most renowned contemporary sculptors Anish Kapoor will have his first major exhibition at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) in Istanbul opening on 10 September 2013.

As SSM Director Nazan Ölçer says, Kapoor is “a profound and multidimensional artist.” He is particularly influenced by the concept of “voidness” and draws a lot of inspiration from literature and philosophy, referring to Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer while speaking about his work. Kapoor is also a painter but he doesn't like to talk about it and says he doesn't have any plans on showcasing his paintings.

Curator Norman Rosenthal states regarding the upcoming show at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum: “İstanbul is a city that is home to some very significant samples of Roman and Ottoman stone architecture. So in the İstanbul show, we'll also display Kapoor's stone sculptures that have never been exhibited before.”

The exhibition will include pieces never seen before, some of them weighing tons. Created by the artist who is regarded as having redefined abstract sculpture, Kapoor’s art brings together sculpture, architecture, engineering and technology. In parallel to the exhibition, SSM will be organizing conferences, workshops and various events to discuss the future of contemporary art and to study the leading artists of today. The exhibition is sponsored by Akbank, on the occasion of their 65th anniversary.

Anish Kapoor

Pi Artworks Gallery in London

on Wednesday, 14 August 2013. Posted in ---2013---, August

Related Article: Ayse Erkmen at the Barbican in London


Founded in 1998 by Yesim Turanlı, one of the founders of Istanbul Art Museum Foundation, Pi Artworks gallery is located in the famous Art Noveau style Mısır Apartment building at the middle of Istiklal Street in Istanbul. Pi Artworks is sharing the building with several notable and established galleries such as Galeri Zilberman, CDA Projects, Galeri Nev and the Nesrin Esirtgen Collection. While participating in an international art fair in Frankfurt for the first time in 2004, Yesim experienced the market potential of Turkish Contemporary Art outside her country. She has been active in the international art scene ever since. Pi Artworks has exhibited at the Armory Show NY, Art Basel HK, Art Stage Singapore, Art India and Contemporary Istanbul in 2012.

Having built up an international audience and collector base over many years and witnessing a steady growth of interest in Turkish Contemporary Art, Yesim Turanlı decided it was time to give her artists more international presence by branching out to London, one of the hot spots of contemporary art today and home to some of the best galleries in the world.

Right in time for Frieze this year, Pi Artworks London will open in the beginning of October 2013. It will be located just off busy Oxford Circus in between Pilar Corrias and Carroll/Fletcher on 55 Eastcastle Street and accross Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, who also recently decided to move her gallery from Zurich to London. Other galleries in the area are Scream, Paradise Row and Rose Issa.

Pi Artworks’ first show in London will be a group exhibition giving sneak preview of the upcoming shows and exhibiting an overview of the artists represented by the gallery. The exhibition will include works by Gülay Semercioglu, Susan Hefuna, Volkan Aslan, Nezaket Ekici, Horasan and Nejat Sati. Right after that, internationally acclaimed performance artist Nezaket Ekici will have a solo show with a selection of her installation videos and photos, giving a life perfomance at the opening of the show.

Yesim Turanli with a work by Susan Hefuna
Yesim Turanli with a work by Susan Hefuna at her Istanbul gallery Pi Artworks

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,
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 2016

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 2016.

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.

Searching for Istanbul – Turkish artists at MAK Vienna

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

Past and Future at Istanbul Modern


The exhibition „Signs Taken in Wonder“ at MAK Vienna surveyed the work of 33 international contemporary artists from three generations and their production in the context of the city of Istanbul, a city shaped by European, Oriental and Asian influences from 23 January until 21 April 2013.

The inspiration of the curatorial theme was taken from an essay by Homi K. Bhabha about the phenomenon of amazement experienced during the discovery of a new, foreign language and culture. The significance of literature as a medium to communicate notions of foreign cultures and narration as a subject of contemporary art is central to the concept of this exhibition.

Another source playing into the theme mentioned by the curators Simon Rees and Bärbel Vischer is Franco Moretti’s book Signs Taken for Wonders (London, 1983) dealing with world literatures and culture in translation and with the significance of translation for the construction of collective “world views.” Also Turkish authors like Orhan Pamuk, Mario Levi and international authors like Pierre Loti refer to similar notions in their texts.

A prominent work of the show was Nam June Paik Award winner Cevdet Erek's minimal installation on the ceiling of the central exhibition hall, which was illuminated through the museum's skylight construction. Referring to the history and structure of MAK’s 19th century building, Erek uses daylight as formative element of the exhibition, alluding to his interest in rhythm and space.

Cevdet Erek, „re-Illumination
Cevdet Erek, „re-Illumination, 2013, exhibition view at MAK Vienna, 2013. Photo: MAK/ Katrin Wißkirchen

Another interesting work in the exhibition was Emre Hüner’s major installation „A Little Larger than the Entire Universe,“ that was recently shown at Manifesta 9. In this work the artist collects fragments and narratives as diverse as the NASA space-program, utopian dreams, ceramics based on forms taken from nature, hand-tools, creating a dialogue between science, progress, and visionary thinking.

Emre Hüner, a Little Larger than the Entire universe
Emre Hüner, a Little Larger than the Entire universe, 2012, exhibition view MAK Vienna, 2013. Photo: MAK/ Katrin Wißkirchen

Emre Hüner, a Little Larger than the Entire universe
Emre Hüner, a Little Larger than the Entire universe, 2012, Detail. Photo: MAK/ Katrin Wißkirchen

Füsun Onur produced a new hand-beaded textile work for the MAK exhibition dealing with discourses of identity and gender by combining traditional crafts with new technologies.

Füsun Onur, miracle (symphonic poem)“
Füsun Onur, miracle (symphonic poem), 2013, textile, beads, 300 x 150 cm. exhibition view MAK Vienna 2013. Photo: MAK/ Katrin Wißkirchen

At the same time, German artist Marcel Odenbach’s two-screen video Männergeschichten 1 (Men Stories 1), underscores male ritual played exemplified by being shaved at a barber’s shop.

Marcel Odenbach, Männergeschichten 1
Marcel Odenbach, Männergeschichten 1, 2003, 2 channel video installation, 10’. Photo: Courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation

Participating Artists: Hamra Abbas / Murat Akagündüz / Yeşim Akdeniz / Eylem Aladoğan / Meriç Algün Ringborg / Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin / Halil Altındere / CANAN / Aslı Çavuşoğlu / Cengiz Çekil / Banu Cennetoğlu / Mutlu Çerkez / Antonio Cosentino / Canan Dagdelen / Lukas Duwenhögger / Cevdet Erek / Erdem Ergaz / Murat Gök / Nilbar Güreş / Sibel Horada / Emre Hüner / Aki Nagasaka / Olaf Nicolai / Marcel Odenbach / Ahmet Öğüt / Füsun Onur / Mario Rizzi / Nasra Şimmes / Erdem Taşdelen / Cengiz Tekin / Güneş Terkol / İrem Tok / Uygur Yılmaz

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue SIGNS TAKEN IN WONDER: Searching for Contemporary Art about Istanbul, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Simon Rees and Bärbel Vischer, texts by Vasif Kortun, Mario Levi, Markus Neuwirth, Bige Örer, Nikos Papastergiadis, Simon Rees, Gerhard Roiss, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Bärbel Vischer, German/English, c. 192 pages, MAK Vienna / Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2013.

[12  >>