New generation’s art goes under spotlight
Young students’ and designers’ works on public space, the city, architecture, animal rights, body, memory, identity and Istanbul are being displayed at Pera Museum.
Central Istanbul’s Pera Museum is providing a platform for students to showcase some of their recent work as part of its new exhibition, “Connecting the Dots: Workshops.”
The exhibition combines 13 of the 38 workshops produced as part of recent events organized by Marmara University Fine Arts Department’s sixth International Student Triennial. Coinciding with the first week of this year’s Istanbul Biennial, the works of these young artists and designers will be brought to the attention of both international art and design circles.
The young artists and designers have produced works that focus on public space, the city, architecture, animal rights, body, memory, identity and Istanbul while creating an archive of the experiences gathered throughout the whole process and offering a concrete outcome. They have also attempted to connect the dots by focusing on different segments of society.
In the workshops, the students see young artists and designers from different countries illustrating the richness of an interdisciplinary platform by sharing their knowledge and experiences with each other, producing new works, experiencing new approaches and bringing together art, design and life in the city of Istanbul.
Bringing together art and the city
Marmara University Fine Arts Department’s International Student Triennial is the strongest example of how an educational institution can bring together art and the city with its year-long activities and exhibitions spread throughout Istanbul. The triennial has brought together numerous art and design schools from around 60 different countries in Istanbul since its establishment in 1997.
An exhibition of workshops at the Pera Museum held as part of “Connecting the Dots” is among the activities that have started at the Acıbadem campus and spread over many sites in the city. The exhibition displays art and design production that has been made throughout the year and documents all the collaborations that started in November 2012.
The productions in the exhibition center on people’s lives shaped by the city and question many issues.
The workshops were organized in a number of categories, including “Artists Diaries,” which show production through the lens of an artist and a designer in the pages of a notebook. With the help of their sketches, viewers are able to read the day that was recorded and witness the moment.
The issues that were discussed in “A Wisp of Smoke in the Wind” workshop questioned how contemporary art is dealt with in the public space; those that are displayed on the street without prior notice focus on anxiety and try to make meaning out of it. The chosen methods, performances, installations or objects create a new moment in time and space and an illusion that transforms reality into fiction and fiction into reality.
In the workshop “Connecting the Dots on the Body,” a new language is produced on a common platform where material meets the body through things that are embedded on the body.
“Bridges over the Bosphorus” offers a map of the existential dynamics of one’s current location with an interdisciplinary approach. Those that remain between or stand on top of the unifying and transmitting qualities of the bridge look at what is social, cultural and economical over the Bosphorus.
“It’s Yours If You Resist” focuses on the voices and sounds of and views from a new period that started at the end of May. Through the lens of the Gezi Park, photographs record what happened to the peaceful discourse that has spread from the park to the city and even to the whole country. The photographs were taken by fine arts students and portray the resistance that makes use of conventional methods of contemporary art in the public space. The thing that has been produced in the public space is the mind that has been spared from the aggression of the powerful; these photographs are the documents of this mind.
“Sharing the Public Space” workshop looks at the streets. The workshop gives voice to Istanbul’s stray dogs and highlights their struggle for life. The workshop focuses on the minds of dogs by painting the walls and ground in the public space with stencils and shows that the resistance to life continues on the streets.
“Localities and Global Discourse” makes statements that have cultural and geopolitical depth, and features the individual experiences of students from Marmara University’s Fine Arts Department and the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In the workshops, students communicated with each other by sharing their on-going studies with each other on an online platform.
“Inspired by Istanbul, “Portre” is the work of two Dutch artists focusing on the compulsory military service that applies to every male citizen of the Turkish Republic under the age of 45 and how this compulsory service interferes with the future plans of an individual.
The “Tempoli” workshops, meanwhile, are part of an online project that contains assessments and comments made online.
“Istanbul 63 Years Later: Following Margaret Bourke-White” is a workshop that traces memory. By taking photographs of the places that were visited by American documentary and war photographer Margaret Bourke-White in 1940 in Istanbul after 63 years, the workshop documents the transformation of the city and researches memory by tracing the photographer.
The exhibition will be on view until Sept. 22.