Art manifestos from Turkey in new book
ISTANBUL“Why Are We ‘Artists’? – 100 World Art Manifestos,” newly published by Penguin Books, is a collection of 100 artists’ manifestos from across the world between 1909 and 2012, bringing together activists, post-colonialists, surrealists, socialists, nihilists and a host of other voices.
The collection includes two manifestos from Turkey, one by modernist artist Peyami Safa and the other by contemporary artist Bedri Baykam.
Safa lived between 1889 and 1961 and was one of the artists of D Group, formed in Istanbul in 1933 by six radical artists who sought to create a form of Turkish modernism. Safa, who had been a critic of the old Ottoman order, wrote the D Group’s manifesto which was published in the brochure that accompanied the group’s first exhibition.
Baykam’s “San Francisco Manifesto” is also featured in the book. He wrote the manifesto in 1984 out of frustration at the absence of works by non-Western artists in the museums and galleries of the United States.
The manifesto was distributed outside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art at the opening of exhibitions.