Special Feature Turkey at ARCOmadrid 2013

on Wednesday, 20 February 2013. Posted in February, ---2013---

Searching for Istanbul - Turkish Artists at MAK Vienna


From 13 to 17 February Madrid hosted a new edition of its International Contemporary Art Fair organised by IFEMA. The fair has attracted collectors, gallerists, artists and art professionals from all over the world for the last 32 years. 201 galleries from 27 countries were represented at this very international edition of ARCOmadrid in 2013 with 66% foreign participation.

One of the major attractions of the Fair was the FOCUS TURKEY, a selection of 10 galleries made by the curator, writer and professor, Vasif Kortun and the assistant curator Lara Fresko in collaboration with the Turkish Embassy in Spain. The selected galleries were Dirimart, Elipsis, Maçka, Mana, Nev İstanbul, NON, Pilot, Rampa, Rodeo and X-Ist.

The programme united a wide range of Turkish artists, showing contemporary artistic products from this active emerging market.
Galeri Manâ showed Kutlug Ataman’s seven-channel video installation Mayhem, close-up views of the massive Iguazu Falls between Argentina and Brazil. Ataman created the work in response to the Arab Spring, the images of water flowing upwards and sideways are violent and cleansing at the same time.

Kutlug Ataman, Mayhem
Kutlug Ataman, Mayhem, 2011, 7 channel projection, dimensions variable. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, ARTER and Galeri Manâ.

Servet Koçyigit’s works were with Rampa at ARCOmadrid. His work Sunset is designed as a carefully crafted hand-made lacework reading “Fuck You Sunset.” The language loses ist meaning after a few repitions, yet the production of this work takes so much time that the phrase is constantly recharged with meaning. The cinematic reference might direct our thoughts towards happy endings that did not work out so well in real life.

Servet Koçyigit, Sunset
Servet Koçyigit, Sunset, 2012, handmade crochet, 128 x 218 cm. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Rampa

Yusuf Sevincli’s melancholic yet haunting black and white photographs were on display at Elipsis’ booth in Madrid. Sevincli unpretentiously photographs his environment, his daily encounters, his fears and concerns, like a visual diary, exposing the absurdity of his environment.

Yusuf Sevincli
Yusuf Sevincli , Good Dog 014, 2006. Archival Pigment Print. 50 x 75 cm. Edition of 5, Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Elipsis Gallery.

Pilot featured Bashir Borlakov, known for his panoramic photo series that he has been producing since 2005. His artistic production deals primarily with the concept of “time”.

Bashir Borlakov
Bashir Borlakov, The Dream of Trotsky, 2011. C-print on aluminium dibond, 80 x 235 cm.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Pilot Gallery.

Bashir Borlakov
Bashir Borlakov, The Second Dream of Trotsky, 2011. C-print on aluminium dibond, 80 x 235 cm.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Pilot Gallery.

Turkey’s presence was also reflected beyond the walls of the art fair in the city of Madrid with Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo hosting an exhibition of the artist Halil Altindere, curated by Ferrán Barenblit. La Casa Encendida put on a show with video works by the artist Ali Kazma. The art centre Matadero Madrid featured a group project by several artists including Sibel Horada, Ïz Öztat and Yasemin Nur called „Here Together Now“ organised in collaboration with the Turkish cultural centre SALT

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