Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern

on Thursday, 08 June 2017. Posted in ---2017---

Related Article: Artists from Turkey Featured at 57th Venice Biennial


Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fight Against Abstraction
Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fight Against Abstraction, 1947 Istanbul Modern Collection, Eczacibasi Group Donation, (c) The Raad Zeid Al-Hussein Collection

This summer, Tate Modern will present the UK’s first retrospective of Fahrelnissa Zeid (b. 1901, Istanbul, d. 1991, Amman), reappraising her work in an international context. Zeid was a pioneering artist best known for her large-scale, colourful canvases – some over 5 metres wide – fusing European approaches to abstract art with Byzantine, Islamic and Persian influences.

This major exhibition will bring together paintings, drawings and sculptures spanning over 40 years – from expressionist works made in Istanbul in the early 1940s, to immersive abstract canvases exhibited in London, Paris and New York in the 1950s and 1960s, finishing with her return to portraiture later in life. Celebrating her extraordinary career, Tate Modern will reveal Zeid as an important figure in the international story of abstract art.

Artists from Turkey Featured at Documenta 14

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

Related Article: Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern


Documenta 14 includes several works by artists from Turkey in both Athens and Kassel. Banu Cennetoğlu’s work 'Gurbet’s Diary' (27.07.1995–08.10.1997) (2016-7) in Athens is dedicated to Gurbetelli Ersöz, who was a journalist, and the only woman to hold the position of editor at a pro-Kurdish newspaper. After being arrested and tortured, she joined the guerilla, keeping a journal from 1995 until 1997 when she was killed. After its first publication in Germany in 1998, the diary was published in Turkey in 2014, but banned shortly after. The lithographic slabs of 'Gurbet's Diary' contain the pages of the diary, ready to be printed again. Her work 'BEINGSAFEISSCARY' (2017) in Kassel consists of ten aluminum letters borrowed from the Fridericianum and six letters cast in brass after the existing ones, based on graffiti existing on a wall at the National Technical University of Athens.

In Nevin Aladağ’s installation / performance 'Music Room' in Athens, items of furniture and household objects turn into resonating bodies that develop their own acoustic properties attributable to their shapes as evocative of the human body. In the process, prevailing notions of functionality, ergonomics, and purity of sound are called into question. Her installation entitled 'Jali​' (2017) in Kassel consists of glazed ceramics. Gülsün Karamustafa’s installation 'The Apartment Building' (2012) and Köken Ergun's two-channel video projection 'I, Soldier' (2005) are part of the collection exhibition of Greece's National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) at Fridericianum in collaboration with documenta 14.
The works will be on view in Athens until 18 July and in Kassel until 17 September 2017.

Banu Cennetoğlu, Gurbet’s Diary, 2016
Banu Cennetoğlu, Gurbet’s Diary (27.07.1995–08.10.1997) (2016–17), installation view at documenta 14 Athens 2017

Nevin Aladag, 'Music Room (Athens)',
Nevin Aladag, 'Music Room (Athens)', 2017, installation view at documenta 14 Athens 2017

Banu Cennetoğlu, BEINGSAFEISSCARY (2017)
Banu Cennetoğlu, BEINGSAFEISSCARY (2017), Ten aluminum letters borrowed from the Fridericianum and six letters cast in brass after the existing ones, Based on graffiti existing on a wall at the National Technical University of Athens as of April 6, 2017, 57.5 × 1085 × 1 cm overall Coproduced with Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen, Sitterwerk, Switzerland, installation view at Friedrichsplatz, Kassel, documenta 14. photo: Frieze

Istanbul Galleries in Basel

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

Related Article: Cevdet Erek at the Pavilion of Turkey in Venice


Turkish galleries Galeri Zilberman and Öktem & Aykut are representing Turkey at Basels art week this year. Öktem & Aykut are showing works by Elif Boyner and Lara Ögel at Liste, while Zilberman Gallery is participating in Volta with works by Alpin Arda Bağcık and Ahmet Elhan.

Lara Ögel, Turquoise II
Lara Ögel, Turquoise II, 2015, video, 11'

Maxxi Museum hosts major survey of Contemporary Art from Turkey

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

Related Article: Concept of 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial announced


The show 'Istanbul: Passion, Joy, Fury', which runs from 11 December 2015 until 3 May 2016, 
is part of MAXXI’s exhibition cycle focusing on the cultural realities of the Mediterranean and the relationships between
the Middle East and Europe. It is the final stage of the project’s three phases, which began with a series of meetings and workshops led by curators, artists, historians and architects in both Rome and Istanbul. The results of this period of research — to be presented on a website in conjunction with the exhibition — formed the basis for the display, which aims to present Istanbul’s complicated and dynamic character beginning with an outline of its current cultural status and tracing
back to its historical roots.
As always, the museum aims for an interdisciplinary approach; it will include works from various media, as well as foster an active exchange amongst the artistic and intellectual communities of Turkey and Europe.

Istanbul is an interesting case study. The city has undergone many intense social and cultural upheavals, which came to a climax with the evolving protest movement in 2013 and triggered a climate of social change involving members of the artistic community, as well as intellectuals and local youths. Additionally,
the city is rapidly expanding and developing, which creates space for various new local and international projects. The gezi Park protests of
2013 will serve as the starting point for the exhibition, which evolves around five major themes: ‘Urban Changes’ with a special focus on gentrification, ecology and self-organization; ‘Political conflicts and resistance’ seen through the eyes of independent thinkers reflecting on justice, violence or gender issues; ‘Innovative Production Models’ tied to consumerism and the challenges of the working
class; ‘geopolitical Urgencies’ dealing with the pressing issue of minorities and refugees; and finally ‘Hope’, seen through new socio-political solutions and strategies, along with artistic expressions of joy and growth.

The invited artists and architects: Hamra Abbas, Can Altay & Jeremiah Day, Halil Altındere, Emrah Altınok, Architecture For All (Herkes İçin Mimarlık), Volkan Aslan, Fikret Atay, Atelier Istanbul: Arnavutköy, Vahap Avşar, İmre Azem & Gaye Günay, Osman Bozkurt, Angelika Brudniak & Cynthia Madansky, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Antonio Cosentino, Burak Delier, Cem Dinlenmiş, Cevdet Erek, İnci Eviner, Extrastruggle, Nilbar Güreş, Ha Za Vu Zu, Emre Hüner, Ali Kazma, Sinan Logie & Yoann Morvan, Networks of Dispossession, Nejla Osseiran, Ceren Oykut, Pınar Öğrenci, Ahmet Öğüt, Didem Özbek, Şener Özmen, PATTU, Didem Pekün, Zeyno Pekünlü, Mario Rizzi, Sarkis, SO?, Superpool, ŞANALarc, Ali Taptık, Serkan Taycan, Cengiz Tekin, Güneş Terkol, Nasan Tur.

Hera Buyuktasciyan at Maxxi Museum
HERA BUYUKTASCIYAN, The Dock, detail, wood, mechanism, installation view at Galeri Mana, Istanbul 2014

Vahap Avsar at Maxxi Museum
VAHAP AVSAR, Road to Arguvan, video still, 2013

Gunes Terkol at Maxxi Museum
GUNES TERKOL, Against the Current, Embroidery on fabric, 200x300 cm, 2013

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

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

Related Article: Maxxi Museum hosts major survey of Contemporary Art from Turkey


At the age of 70, Cengiz Cekil passed away. The artist will be remembered for his valuable contributions to the contemporary art. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and the whole art scene.

After receiving his BFA from the Gazi Institute in Ankara, Cengiz Cekil (b. 1945, Bor) continued his studies in Paris. He returned to Turkey in 1976 and got his MFA in Sculpture from Ege University in Izmir. Searching for new visual and formal definitions that could correspond to the dramatic social transformations of the 1970s and 1980s, Cekil became one of the key figures of contemporary art in Turkey. He distanced himself from the aesthetic conventions of academic conservatism of that time and instead made use of cheap everyday materials, such as stationery, hardware items, construction materials, trash and newspapers. His early artistic production mostly reflects the political tensions and dramatic social transformations preceding the coup d’état in 1980. In 1978, Çekil moved from İstanbul to work at the newly founded Faculty of Fine Arts at Ege University in İzmir. The photographic series Visual Tracks (1979) documents the artist's daily journey to work.

His first solo exhibition at Rampa was held in 2010. Curated by Vasıf Kortun, the project comprised works produced between 1974 and 2010.

Selected group exhibitions of the artist include 4th Istanbul Biennial, 1995; Manifesta 5, San Sebastian, Spain, 2004; 11th International İstanbul Biennial, İstanbul, Turkey, 2009; I’m Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing MoMA, 2011; NEWTOPIA: The State of Human Rights, Mechelen, Belgium, 2012; Istanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: 68-89, SALT, Istanbul, 2012 and Signs Taken in Wonder: Searching for Contemporary Istanbul, MAK Vienna, 2013.

Cengiz Cekil, Rampa Gallery Istanbul
Cengiz Cekil, Courtesy Rampa Gallery Istanbul

Cengiz Cekil, Towards Childhood, Since Childhood, 1974
Cengiz Cekil, Towards Childhood, Since Childhood, 1974 Coca-cola bottles, triple battery (4,5 V), string, tree branch, bulb, cable, electric tape, 34 x 10 x 10 cm. Courtesy Rampa Gallery Istanbul

Cengiz Cekil, Diary 1976
Cengiz Cekil, Diary, 1976, Seal print on diary, and box 14 × 20.5 cm. Courtesy Rampa Gallery Istanbul

Simply titled 'Günce', or 'Diary', Çekil’s work, which was acquired by MoMA in 2011, is a notebook in which Çekil stamped “Bugün de yaşıyorum” (I am still alive today), along with the date, for two months in 1976. The work, a response to the increasing political tension in Turkey between rightists and leftists during the time it was created, also stands as a reference to artists who were feeling trapped in a period when terrorism almost became part of daily life.

Cevdet Erek to represent Turkey at 57th Venice Biennial

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

Related Article: Elmgreen&Dragset to Curate 15th Istanbul Biennial


A project by artist Cevdet Erek will be presented at the 57th Venice Biennial’s Pavilion of Turkey from 13 May - 26 November 2017.

Cevdet Erek’s installations and performances that focus on sound, space and rhythm were shown in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Istanbul Biennial (2003, 2013 and 2015), Sydney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istanbul Modern (2014, 2015 and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012 and 2015) among others. Major solo exhibitions of his work were organised by Spike Island in Bristol (2014) and Kunsthalle Basel (2012). His published books are SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack (2008, BAS), Room of Rhythms 1 (2012, Walther König) and Less Empty Maybe (2015, Revolver/Artist). His SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack was the recipient of Nam June Paik Award given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012).

Cevdet Erek studied Architecture at Mimar Sinan University. He has been a member of the music band Nekropsi. He received his graduate degree in Sound Engineering & Design from Istanbul Technical University - MIAM (Center for Advanced Studies in Music). He was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2005-2006. He currently lives in Istanbul and continues to work at Istanbul Technical University.

The Advisory Board consists of artist Ali Kazma, curator at Arter, Başak Doğa Temür; Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprises General Manager Özalp Birol, curator and Art Advisor at Istanbul Modern Museum Paolo Colombo, and Prof. Dr. Zeynep İnankur from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western and Contemporary Art.

Cevdet Erek
Cevdet Erek

Galleries from Turkey at viennacontemporary 2016

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

Related Article: Turkey's Concept for London Design Biennial Revealed


Turkish galleries Galeri Zilberman and SANATORIUM are going to be present at this year’s edition of viennacontemporary taking place from 22-25 September. Sanatorium will bring works by Sevil Tunaboylu, Erol Eskici and Yağız Özgen, while Zilberman Gallery will participating with Alpin Arda Bağcık, Guido Casaretto, Antonio Cosentino, Ahmet Elhan, Walid Siti and Eşref Yıldırım.

Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013
Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013, straw, wood and acrylic on MDF, 59x59x37 cm. Zilberman Gallery Istanbul/Berlin

Following the success of the first edition of viennacontemporary in 2015 in the spectacular ambience of the Marx Halle, the largest art fair in the region will once again convene more than 100 Austrian, Eastern European, and international galleries in a showcase of emerging and established contemporary art. The presence of important international collectors and the continuously growing reputation of viennacontemporary have encouraged many galleries to participate in Vienna’s art fair once again in 2016. Moreover, new young and exciting galleries from Austria, the focus regions, and the Western hemisphere have also chosen to join the fair.

Eşref Yıldırım, Nezihe Muhiddin, 2014
Eşref Yıldırım, Nezihe Muhiddin, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 194x148 cm. Zilberman Gallery Istanbul/Berlin

Under the artistic direction of Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and executive management of Renger van den Heuvel, viennacontemporary stands for continuity and a high-caliber exhibition program. More and more art collectors and experts are making their way to Vienna, which has established itself – not least thanks to the success of viennacontemporary – as an international marketplace for contemporary art in both the domestic and international art scenes.

Following the focus countries of the past years– Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus (2012), Georgia and Poland (2013), Azerbaijan (2014), and Bulgaria (2015), this year’s showcase explores a region in Southeastern Europe: ex-Yugoslavia and Albania. Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania is curated by the Albanian curator and writer Adela Demetja.


Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013
Yağız Özgen, Water Lilies (284 Stripes), 2016, acrylic on canvas, 180x142cm. Sanatorium Gallery Istanbul. Photo: CHROMA

Jake & Dinos Chapman at ARTER in Istanbul

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

MOCAK acquires works by Gülin Hayat Topdemir and Guido Casaretto

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

Related Article: Inci Eviner receives the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contemporary Istanbul Announces Gallery List 2017

on Tuesday, 08 August 2017. Posted in ---2017--- , August

Related Article: Sanatorium Gallery in Vienna


Contemporary Istanbul 2017


Contemporary Istanbul (CI) art fair announced the preliminary exhibitors list for the upcoming 12th edition of the fair. CI brings together leading contemporary art galleries from Turkey and around the world, giving a regional and international focus to the dynamic contemporary art scene that has developed in Istanbul in recent decades.

Participating galleries:


44A, Istanbul
55Bellechasse, Paris & Miami
Ab Anbar, Tahran
Ab Gallery, Seul
Acaf, Şangay
Alan Istanbul, İstanbul
Andakulova, Dubai
Anna Laudel Gallery, İstanbul
Archeus Post-modern, Londra
Aria Art Gallery, Floransa
Art On Istanbul, İstanbul
Bernheimer Contemporary, Berlin
Bozlu Art Project, İstanbul
C.A.M, İstanbul
C24, New York
Cep Gallery, İstanbul
Dastan's Basement, Tahran
Dix 9, Paris
Dirimart, İstanbul
Eastwards Prospectus, Bükreş
Flowers Gallery, Londra
Gaia Gallery, İstanbul
Galeri Miz, İstanbul
Galeri Nev, İstanbul
Galeria Continua, San Gimignano & Beijing
Galerist, İstanbul
Galeri̇ 77, İstanbul
Galeri Baraz, İstanbul
Galeri Binyil, İstanbul
Galeri Siyah Beyaz, Ankara
Gallery 1957, Akra
Gama Gallery, İstanbul
Gazelli Art House, Londra & Bakü
Heavenlymade, İzmir
Inda Gallery, Budapeşte
Isabel Croxatto, Santiago
JoanGaspar, Barselona
Karavil Contemporary, Londra
Krank Art Gallery, İstanbul
Kristen Hjellegjerde, Londra
Leila Heller, New York & Dubai
Licht Feld, Basel
Liquid Art System, Capri & İstanbul
Magic Beans, Berlin
Mark Hachem, Paris & Beyrut
Marlborough, New York
Maximilian William, Londra
Merkur, İstanbul
Mixer Gallery, İstanbul
N2 Gallery, Barselona
Nicodim Gallery, Bükreş & Los Angeles
NK Gallery, Anvers
Olcay Art, İstanbul
Öktem & Aykut, İstanbul
Parasite Gallery, Tel Aviv
Pg Art Gallery, İstanbul
Pi Artworks, İstanbul & Londra
Pilevneli Gallery, İstanbul
Piramid Sanat, İstanbul
Plan B, Cluj, Berlin
Project Artbeat, Ti̇blis
Red Art Galeri, İstanbul
Sanatorium, İstanbul
Shirin Gallery, Tahran & New York
Smac Gallery, Cape Town
Sophia Contemporary, Londra
Triangle Gallery, Tel Aviv
Victor Lope, Barselona
Victoria Miro, Londra
Vigo Gallery, Londra
Villa Del Arte, Barcelona
X-ist, İstanbul
Zilberman Gallery, İstanbul & Berlin

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

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

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
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