EventsTopography of Memory

New Exhibition at ARTER in Istanbul

How artists are acting under curfew

Arter is hosting three solo exhibitions, showing new works of Bahar Yürükoğlu, Murat Akagündüz and Şener Özmen.

Bahar Yürükoğlu//Seyrüseferci, 2016 Videostill

Standing in front of Arter on Istiklal Street even the display window is welcoming the spectator by reflecting him like in a big puddle of shining oil on a sunny summer day in which beautiful bands of color appear in a melting of reality and its hazy, blurred reflection and let him stand still for a while observing himself in the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping street in his background.

The ground floor is hosting the works of Bahar Yürükoğlu. “Follow through” takes as its departure point the artist’s experiences during her travels to the Arctic Circle in 2015. The consolidations and formations of color, light, sound and space in the new combined arrangements is leading through an abstract, colorful, geometrical world of ice and nature; tackling presence and absence, past and future, nature and civilization, mining towns and advanced-technology science villages by playing with the translation between two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces relocation the anthropocentric self in subject-object relation as it just lets him flow through.


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Going upstairs to the first floor a feeling of sudden inner silence and pureness sets in since standing in a room that is dominated by shades of white. For the “Vertigo” exhibition 13 painting of the “Kaf” series by Murat Akagündüz were chosen, showing white on white oil paintings depicting some of world’s highest mountain peaks as seen on Google Earth. In times of big data it is referring to the ontological consequences of such digital mediation in our relationship to the earth and its implications in terms of vision and image production.

Şener Özmen exhibition “Unfiltered” is organized in three ‘taht’s (thrones), wooden constructions used outdoors in hot climates mostly in the Sotuh East of Turkey. The taht (thrones) are installed in three corners. Like from island to island the visitor is ambulating between the works, connecting engraved icons and symbols on each taht.  The artist himself is from Diyarbakir, the metropol of the South East of Turkey which was partly under curfew several month until mid March 2016. In this frame the taht becomes his island, his desire his dreams. Each ‘taht’, thone or island has its own title. The first one you see on the left side immediately after entering, is titled ‘Artist Battling His Invisible Enemies’. The icons engraved on the wood consist of images form the Mesopotamian mythologies and histories of civilization in the region. Between mythological images, also contemporary images are manifested, like the Sheikh Maar Mosque in Diyarbakır, which had been demolished during the recent clashes between members of Kurdish armed groups and the Turkish army last months. One engravement shows the Mosque, where Tahir Elçi, the former Diyarbakır Bar Association president, was assassinated in November 2015.  A men is hurrying away, it might be the asassin. Elçi had been making a press statement to appeal for a ceasefire. He was condemning the use of heavy weapons in living areas of civilians and wanted to prevent the mosque from being demolished by the ongoing armed conflicts. In fact the famous “minaret on four legs” of the mosque was damaged in the fighting later on.


Center of Diyarbakir 2016

The show will take palce from 30 March to 15 May 2016. For more information go to Arter

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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