Istanbul Modern welcomes videos less ordinary
BURAK DELİER - Crisis and ControlIstanbul Modern is presenting the Artists’ Film International, a program dedicated to moving images through videos, animations and films of visual artists from around the world.
The program, which opened on Jan. 20, will continue until March 12 with a pop-up exhibition curated by Çelenk Bafra, the curator of Istanbul Modern. The exhibition features two video installations from Turkey, Burak Delier’s “Crisis and Control” and Vahap Avşar’s “Road to Arguvan,” along with recent works by artists from 15 countries in thematic selections.
The video selections displayed in projections or screens are programmed under various titles such as “conflicts,” “performative interpretation of the urban,” “physical boundaries” and “narration/s of events” and more.
In addition, the exhibition’s video room, the “Blackbox,” will host a different video work as an installation every week throughout the exhibition. Talks and presentations about video art and artists’ films will also be held within the scope of the exhibition.
Initiated by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, the Artists’ Film International is organized in partnership with 17 art institutions from different parts of the world. Every year, partners select a new work by a prominent artist in their country and share it with the other partners. Following the curatorial work by each program partner, selected videos are displayed in thematic screenings or exhibitions.
Istanbul Modern participated in the program with works by Ali Kazma, İnci Eviner, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Sefer Memişoğlu and Bengü Karaduman in the past. Having worked with Delier in 2014, it invited Avşar for 2015, and Avşar’s video will feature in the exhibitions and screenings organized by program partners throughout the year.
Employing various techniques such as photography, painting, installation, performance and moving image, Avşar’s works are marked by the influence of conceptual art history. In the video, he focuses on a gigantic crack that was formed in the 1980s on the only road connecting Arguvan, the artist’s native town for generations, to the city of Malatya. The depth of the cracks in the asphalt has rendered the road useless, yet the government neither repairs it nor builds a new one. Cut off from the world, gradually deprived of fundamental facilities – above all the hospital – the town was abandoned to its fate. The main image and metaphor of “Road to Arguvan” is this deep crack. Shot with a hand-held camera, this short, shaky and intensive video full of mystery and associations can be read as a testament of the past and recent sociopolitical conflicts in Turkey.
In addition to Avşar and Delier, other artists in the program include Yuri Ancarani, Lee Kai Chung, Dalila Ennadre, the Provmyza Group, Mattias Harenstam, Oded Hirsch, Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Tran Luong, Jorge Macchi, Nicole Miller, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Uudam Tran Nguyen, Masooda Noora, Pallavi Paul, Elisabeth Price, Tejal Shah, Anatoly Shuravlev, Angela Su, Milica Tomic, Diego Tonus, Amir Yatziv, Tanya Busse and Emilija Skarnulyte.
The first exhibition event will be a conversation on video art in Serbia between artist Tomic and curator Zorana Dakovic on Jan. 28.
The conversation will center on Tomic’s artistic practice such as her world-renowned films, videos and performances, as well as video art in Serbia.
The author of numerous international art projects and workshops, and a lecturer and guest artist at international institutions of contemporary art, Tomic is exploring different fields, genres, and methods of artistic practice. Her work centers on researching, unearthing and bringing to public debate issues related to political violence, trauma and social amnesia with a particular attention to the relation, short circuit between intimacy and politics.