The exhibition brings together the existing or commissioned works from both established and forthcoming artists that have diverse backgrounds and places of work and residence, including Turkey, Georgia, Cyprus, Iraqi Kurdistan, Austria, France, Colombia, United Kingdom, Argentina, United States, Serbia, Cuba, Philippines, Iran, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Netherlands.
Mercedes Azpilicueta, Annabelle Binnerts, Cansu Çakar, Alev Ersan, Setareh Fatehi, Fikos, Dejan Kaludjerović, Lucie Kamuswekera, Stephanie Misa, Rehan Miskci, Daniel Otero Torres, Elsa Sahal, Walid Siti, Lika Tarkhan Mouravi
Working in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the artist duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have been collaborating since 1995.
Producing a wide and interdisciplinary body of works combining performance, sculpture, video and sound, the duo has been working internationally in exploring the intersections between post-colonialism and ecology. They held solo exhibitions at institutions including Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2022), The Menil Collection, Houston (2020), Tate Modern, London (2019), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Moscow (2019), Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao (2019), MAXXI, Rome (2018).
The work of visual artist and writer Annabelle Binnerts is based on the idea that reading a sentence can be like stepping through a door; another world is hidden behind the written word. Words are at the center of her practice, both as a subject and as a material. She works with language as a sculptor processes clay: she bends, shapes and plays with her material.
Her work therefore calls for the imagination of the viewer/reader. It plays with the reading experience by placing the text in the context of the exhibition – as textiles or site-specific murals. While reading and interpreting the words, it creates space for both poetry and misunderstandings, resulting in a different work for each viewer who reads it.
Cansu Çakar was born in Istanbul in 1988 and earned a bachelor's degree in the Traditional Turkish Arts Department at Dokuz Eylül University of Fine Arts. Her work is about blending traditional art forms, such as illumination design and miniature painting, with contemporary art practices and topics. By doing so, she challenges the stereotypical classification of traditional expressions and highlights her desire to set them free. In her drawings, paintings, and workshops, she delves into male-dominated subjects through her unique personal investigation and storytelling, which typically center on social, historical, and architectural topics, including expected roles for women, as well as historical and contemporary interpretations of Near Eastern and Mediterranean cultures.
Among her projects and exhibitions are Hat ve Hata, artSümer, (İstanbul, 2023) NATURE AND STATE, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden, 2022) Fore-Edge Painting, MACRO Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma and Bibliotheca Hertziana, (Rome, 2021) The 6th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, The Optical and Mechanical Plant, (Yekaterinburg, 2021) Weight of the World, Kasa Gallery, (İstanbul, 2021) BB11- 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, The Crack Begins Within, KW, (Berlin, 2020) Miniature 2.0, Pera Museum, (İstanbul, 2020) Replica of the Origin, SALT Beyoğlu, (İstanbul, 2019)
Alev Ersan is a poet, translator and artist who has produced performance-installation and installation work in Vancouver and Istanbul. After completing her BA in the department of Western Languages and Literatures at Boğaziçi University, Ersan studied with Miranda Pearson, Betsy Warland and Wayde Compton at The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver and completed her MFA degree at Bard College, New York.
Ersan was a part of the 13th Sharjah Biennial offsite projects with an installation in Istanbul in 2017. She has performed for the shadow performance group Mere Phantoms in 2018 and was commissioned by the artist Tejal Shah for drawing and animation work for dOCUMENTA(13). Her poetry and translation of poetry, and experimental writing have appeared in a number of publications. She has taught special topic courses on experimental writing and contemporary art practices at Boğaziçi University.
Setareh Fatehi (Tehran/Amsterdam) is an engineer and choreographer, whose artistic research results in live performances including visual materials, trans-local collaborative spaces, performance-lectures, essays-workshops. Graduated from SNDO she works as a freelance artist, teacher and performer. Her main interest is to work with body and movement as a tool for creating new thoughts and she spends her time redefining the meaning of body in relation to its techno-socio-political surrounding. She has presented her work in Amsterdam, Tehran, Zurich and Istanbul. She has been awarded a fellowship of the Orient Institute in Istanbul for the Autumn of 2023.
Fikos is a painter and muralist. He started studying Byzantine painting at the age of 13. He is among the prime representatives of the style and the movement of the “Contemporary Byzantine Painting”. He combines Byzantine and Egyptian artistic styles with contemporary themes and art movements, like modernism and Neo-muralism, in search for a universal and public artistic language, a sort of visual Globish. He has presented his work in solo and group exhibitions, as well as in monumental public spaces, in Athens, Milos, Paris, Istanbul, Larnaka, Zurich, Kyiv, Bangkok and many more.
Dejan Kaludjerović was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia but lives and works in Vienna. He gained an MA in visual arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2004. For his achievements in visual arts, he was granted an honorable Austrian citizenship. Since finishing his studies in 2004, Kaludjerović has been exploring the conjunction between consumerism and childhood, to analye identity formation and stability of representational forms. Most of his paintings, drawings, objects, videos and installations, employ the processes of recycling, copying and re-enacting, thus creating patterns that simulate mechanical reproduction, and criticise homogeneity embedded in popular culture.
Lucie Kamuswekera was born in 1944 and lives in Goma, DRC. She is an artist and artisan who helps shape the collective memory of Congo through her art. She learned the embroidery technique during colonial times in an Italian nunnery and uses it today to critique the Congolese colonial past, as well as the more recent political history of the wars in the Congo that marked her own life.
Born in the Philippines, living and working in Vienna, Stephanie Misa is a
visual artist, writer and a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Her work consistently displays an interest in complex and diverse histories,
through video work, sculpture, installations, prints, and written publications.
Her current artistic research looks at the orality of languages and its survival
outside the usual educational modes of instruction— its evolution,
cannibalism, appropriation of terms, and creative becomings.
Rehan Miskci (New York/Istanbul) is a visual artist working in photography, video and installation. She studied Interior Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her work deals with identity and memory in relation to physical space, exploring the relationship between fragments and minority identities and issues of personal and collective memory. She teaches photography at The New School in New York and is a member of the Armenian Creatives Collective. She has exhibited in New York, Istanbul and Baku.
The work of Daniel Otero Torres is grounded on the re-construction of ideology through drawings done by hand over aluminium and steel. Moving in the frontier between drawing and sculpture, Otero Torres’ origami-like constructions appear at first as uncanny grand-format black and white photographs. Upon closer inspection, one realises the images are in fact handmade drawings, laboriously done with graphite pencils over a flat surface that has the visual weightlessness of paper but the actual density of metal.
His works have been exhibited in numerous institutions such as the MACAAL, Marrakech; the Espacio 23 of the Jorge Perez Collection, Miami; Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain MRAC Sérignan, France, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China, Kunstverein Sparkasse, Leipzig, Germany, the Bullukian Foundation, Lyon, France (2010), among others. Recent projects include large scale installations in La Tôlerie, Clermont Ferrand, France (2019); FLAX Foundation, Los Angeles, US (2019); and Drawing Lab Paris, France (2021).
Elsa Sahal is a Paris-based sculptor known for biomorphic ceramic works that upend notions of the masculine and feminine, the erotic and abject, and the representational and abstract. She received her training at the National School of Fine Arts, Paris in 2000. She is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including the Georges Coulon Prize for Sculpture, awarded by the Institute de France (2013) and the National Manufactory of Sévres (2007-08). She has taught at the National School of ENSAV, Versailles, the School of Decorative Arts of Strasbourg, and Alfred University. Sahal has also shown her works internationally, including the Museum of Art and Design, New York (2013), the National Museum of Women in the arts, Washington DC (2018) the Bonnenfantenmuseum (2016), Maastricht and the Monnaie de Paris (2017), Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris (2021).
Walid Siti was born in 1954 in Iraqi-Kurdistan. After graduating in 1976 from the Institute of Fine arts in Baghdad, Siti left Iraq to continue his arts education in Slovenia before seeking political asylum in 1984 in the United Kingdom where he lives and works. Siti works extensively in a variety of mediums including video, installation, 3D works, work on paper and painting. His works traverse a complex terrain of memory and loss, while at the same time offering an acute insight into a world. The narrative of Siti’s experience is one he shares with many exiles; he takes inspiration from the cultural heritage of his native land that is crisscrossed with militarized borders and waves of migration. The artist’s work considers the tensions between collective identity, interdependence and the constraints placed on the individual by themes of heritage, tradition, homes, borders, mobility and migration.
Lika Tarkhan-Mouravi (London/Tbilisi) is an artist working with visual and textual materials to enhance the representation of marginal voices from minor languages and cultures. She explores alternative approaches to translation in order to ensure that seemingly untranslatable texts can enter the cultural domain. Focusing on the writings of protofeminist Soviet-Georgian authors, she works across interlingual translations and the practice of curating, as well as painting and clay to create a new methodology for translating the texts.