Plurivocality/ Çok sesli at Istanbul Modern

How do sound and artworks interact while still transforming to a new entity through their fusion? Some of the central contemporary artists in Turkey find most different solutions to this topic.

In her Video-Installation “Balloons on the sea” Hale Tenger (1960) is refering to the habit of shooting bullets on Ballons on Turkish shores. In Istanbul this is an unexpensive, male dominated game at the banks of the Bosphorus on sunny days. But also in other parts of the countru you’ll find it.

Like in many of her works an ambiguity of beauty and violence creates an athmosphere of a certain tension being distrought by the pleasant ambience soundtrack of Tenger’s long-time collaborator Serdar Ateser. The movements of the Balloons are articulated by the occasional metallic ping of a triangle though. The visitor is floating along concrete and allienated images of Ballons on water. The dreamlike esthetic is torn betweeen the big screen and some small screens with close ups of single Balloons.

For the ones knowing the shooting reference the Triangle sound might even evoke the indication of gunshots. The Balloons on the small screens are bursting occasionally. The work was created for a solo exhibition at the Green Art Gallery in Dubai 2011. A fine allegory on the motion of societies in the area and on the art world as well. The surface is shiny while the inner circles include struggle, violence and destruction.

Vahit Tuna’s (1971) Sunshine is a proposition on belonging and identity. He stages a figurine made up of clay on a sand hill. “This is where I stand, while these things are happening around me,” he explains. “We always run for the tickets to be among the spectators. Now there is even more to be watched and the tickets are raining down.”

Semiha Berksoy (1910-2004) is a legend in Turkey. She was dancing in Hotpants on the stages of Beyoğlu in the early 1930ths. Most significant she was an educated Opera singr and Fine artist as well. She was honoured as the First Turkish Opera Singer and awarded with the opportunity to go to Berlin Music Academy for further training. She started her international singing career in 1934, performing in Turkey, Germany and Portugal, becoming known as a Wagnerian soprano. In 1939, for the 75th birthday of Richard Strauss in Berlin, she sang the role of Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, becoming the first Turkish prima donna to perform on stage in Europe.

Artists: Nevin Aladağ, Fikret Atay, Semiha Berksoy, Hussein Chalayan, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Burhan Doğançay, Cevdet Erek, Borga Kantürk, Servet Koçyiğit, Füsun Onur, Ferhat Özgür, Sarkis, Erinç Seymen, Merve Şendil, Hale Tenger, Vahit Tuna, :mentalKLINIK

Curators: Çelenk Bafra, Levent Çalıkoğlu

“Repertoire” research: Birnur Temel, Yasemin Ülgen Saray

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