At KargArt Istanbul 2015
The struggle for survival and recognition is a common fate artists are sharing. It’s a kind of gap between the everyday motivation an artist has to mobilize for his production and the challenges of a consumption oriented surrounding. Globalized capitalism and urban gentrification are most present in Istanbul as a city. Nevertheless it is a place full of energy and diversity.
In 2013 artists were an important impact in the Gezi-uprisings. Nowadays more and more international artists are stepping in to get in touch with the energy of the city. Istanbul is in motion between a glorious past visible in every corner and a very heterogeneous society flipping in between pop-culture, capitalized conservatism and political resistance. To visualize the potential of artist’s interaction and collective cooperation InEnArt in collaboration with KargArt initiated a pop-up art exhibition.
The show was running for only one night and presented visual art works, objects, performances and sounds by 29 artists residing in Istanbul permanently or momentarily. International artists from the Middle East, Europe and Turkey were participating.
Some of the works were produced collectively and presented in a new context. Didem Erk’s “Terrain to Trace” for example emerged in her absence following detailed instructions. Sabine Küper-Büsch bought some pigment and chalk from Karaköy and sifted a rectangle to the ground. Tan Cemal Genç wrote a quotation from the assasinated Turkish-Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink with chalk on the pigment. The work was guarded for two hours until the audience was free to step on it.
The pop-up-show illustrated the strength of solidarity. In a non commercial frame an outstanding show emerged for a couple of hours and was removed collectively by the artists and the team of inenart und KargArt right after the opening.
An international art scene has been established in Istanbul over the last decade. Artists, often supported by international residency programs, choose Istanbul to live and work temporarily in a city of diversity. Others, like refugees from Syria, Iraq and other areas of conflicts, are forced to leave their homeland and find themselves struggling in this megalopolis trying to develop new long-lasting prospects for their life. Artists from Istanbul are in contact with this international community in their city, but they have their own troubles going on as well. Finding common persepctives is a promising challenge for all of us in the future.
Participating artists: Yeşim Ağaoğlu, Gülçin Aksoy, Rafet Arslan, Buse Aktaş, Ruth Anderwald, Ruben Aubrecht, Maria Anwander, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Mahmut Celayır, Cins, Veysel Deneç, Bülent Demirağ, Özge Enginöz, Didem Erk, Eda Gecikmez, Tan Cemal Genç, Pınar Derin Gençer, Pilar Guinea Gil, Leonhard Grond, Genco Gülan, Erdem Gündüz, Asena Hayal, Burçak Konukman, Raziye Kubat, Batool Mohamad, İlhan Sayın, Yeşim Şahin, Sevil Tunaboylu, Ján Valík , Joen Vedel
Photos by Katharina Schmidt and Sabine Küper