‘Co-Art Co-Act’ represents UN’s sustainable goals

‘Co-Art Co-Act’ represents UN’s sustainable goals

Berfin Yortaç - ISTANBUL
‘Co-Art Co-Act’ represents UN’s sustainable goals

The “Co-Art Co-Act” selection organized by Özyeğin University in Istanbul emphasizes the role of art in solving global problems such as climate crisis and access to water, with 17 artworks representing the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals.

The selection, being showcased as one of the parallel events of the Istanbul Biennial, connects the works of young artists with the purpose of sustainability while encouraging those who are concerned about social, environmental and economic issues to act.

The artists in the project started from the idea that academic research, data and crisis tables, which reveal environmental problems, cannot reach people in a real sense, even if they are able to inform society.

The selection, which benefits from the power of art to “touch the human,” presents different types of works ranging from sculpture to video artworks.

Aiming at a collective transformation by influencing people’s lifestyles, the selection is an output of a four-year project reflecting the transdisciplinary working culture of artists.

“We believe that universities, which have a strategic position as a driving force of regional economic growth, should prioritize qualified and sustainable development rather than quantitative growth,” stated Esra Gençtürk, the rector of Özyeğin University.

Accordingly, the university opened a space for its students and young artists to reflect their concerns regarding global problems, Gençtürk pointed out.

“We have put the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals at the center of all our education, research, community contribution and campus activities, and we are moving forward with a strong commitment as a signatory of the U.N. Global Compact,” she explained.

With the focus on the potential of art for the solution of global problems, the selection also provides panels and multi-disciplinary art workshops.

Within the scope of the selection, joint projects will also be carried out by establishing links with many surrounding high schools in order to pave the way for the new generation to increase awareness of environmental problems on a global scale.

Focusing on the work called “Pink Panther,” which criticizes the fast-moving consumer culture of the society in environmental issues, Gençtürk stated that the work reveals the excessive consumption culture supported by confronting many images from popular culture.

“Pink Panther” has also been commodified with a barcode put on the bottom of the work, she noted.

The selection will be open to visitors at the university’s campus in the Çekmeköy district until January 2023.