A Retrospective by Ismail Saray
SALT Galata presents a comprehensive show of London based artist Ismail Saray in Istanbul; born 1943 in Kütahya he is little-known in his native Turkey. This exhibition is the first by Ismail Saray in Turkey in more than 20 years.
From England with Love, İsmail Saray is a culmination of SALT’s two-year research “comprising an intensive archival process and an in-depth collaboration with the artist,” who is now 70 years old.
SALT calls its two-year research on Saray’s life and practice a long-overdue survey, which was based on their conviction that the artist holds a canonical place for the artistic environment of the 1970s and early 1980s in Turkey.
Entering the exhibition and walking through, you find yourself in another person’s head; you are suddenly in the labyrinth of Ismail Saray’s thoughts while he is thinking about his live and trying to write his CV. With little explanations and the year of origine beside the works the visitors follows the career of the artist. Starting from his student life you learn more and more about his work and himself.
The main exhibition space on floor 1 hosts sketches, photographic and video documentation of installations, correspondence, components left from work exhibited abroad, 8mm films the artist made in the early 1970s, as well as some recent quotations taken from older works. On the second and third floors, visitors encounter original works from 1980s and full re-creations of some of his installations that include an untitled student work from 1970 in the Open Archive and Saray’s photographic self-portrait series Envoy from 1972 on the first floor. His most recent works for the exhibition From Floor to Sky organized in London in 2010 are presented on the ground floor. With audio recordings, which Saray placed throughout the exhibition visitors get an idea of his working process during his preparations.
This long-overdue survey began with the process of assembling and securing the complete archive of the artist, as well as unearthing various artworks kept by Saray’s fellow artists.
In addition SALT Research also features the complete archive of the artist in digital form with more then one thousand objects.
The exhibition will last till 2nd of November.
This project was realized by Duygu Demir and Sezin Romi from SALT Research and Programs. It is the second comprehensive retrospective of an artist by SALT Research and Programs after the exhibition I Am Not a Studio Artist by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin in 2011.