Museum rejects allegations
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsIstanbul Modern’s decision not to display a work by artist Bubi (David Hayon) was not an act of censorship but rather a decision by the curators, the museum said in a written statement Dec. 29.
“We have watched the allegations and the incident with astonishment. Istanbul Modern is an institution which tries to stand with the support of patrons and visitors,” the museums statement said, adding that the Gala Modern night, which was organized to support educational programs, had requested works from prominent Turkish artists.
“The aim was to sell the works to create support for the museum,” the statement said, adding that the museum explained the importance of the event to Bubi, like it did to other artists. “After this, the curatorial team of the Istanbul Modern decided not to [display] the work at the gala night.”
The museum said its aim was not to exhibit the work, but to use it for a donation project and added that all artists were aware of the event’s aims.
The refusal to display Bubi’s piece raised the eyebrows of other artists, who entered the museum Dec. 27 and hung banners that read: “There is censorship in this museum.”
Hayon said the problem was not a commercial concern. “It is a fact that every work, which [comes] from the artist, becomes commercialized and becomes capital.”
He said he thought the museum made a decision on behalf of the collector. “By not taking my work to the gala night or not showing it to the collector, the museum made a decision on behalf of the collector. How can a museum decide something like this?”
This is also a problem of approaching the collector, Hayon said. “This is judging the collector,” he said, adding that creating a work “to sell” was not creating shiny, tiny, beautiful things.
“This would not make artwork more sellable,” he said.
This is like judging the collector, implying that “they do not understand this work,” he said, noting that this was inappropriate.