A guided tour around selected art foundations and museums in Istanbul.
“Resounding Io” by Bill Fontana
On view until the 4th of December
Arter presents Bill Fontana’s first solo exhibition in Turkey, Resounding Io as the fifth edition of the “Sound Art Projects” series. This multi-channel sound and video installation is a unique addition to Bill Fontana’s series Acoustical Visions which explores the image that a sound “makes” and the sound that an image “creates”.
Resounding Io is based on research surveys conducted by Fontana in Istanbul, whereby the artist made video and sound recordings, some underwater, at numerous locations along the Bosphorus, as well as in two Byzantine cisterns, namely the Theodosius Cistern and the Basilica Cistern. The relocating of the sound data Fontana collected in Istanbul with a portable recording studio – consisting of an 8-channel digital recorder, acoustic microphones, hydrophones and accelerometers – was achieved by way of playing them via loudspeakers in the Basilica Cistern at night, which generated an incredible response from the huge void/vaults of the structure, a variety of reverberation, which in turn were recorded as the final composition through a method called “re/sounding”.
The work is titled in reference to the mythological story of Io, who gave her name to the Bosphorus. Io, in Greek mythology, was regarded as the first priestess of Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus fell in love with Io and, to protect her from the wrath of Hera, changed her into a white heifer. Hera then sent a gadfly to torment Io, who therefore wandered all over the earth, crossed the Ionian Sea trying to flee from the gadfly, and swam the strait that was thereafter known as the Bosphorus (literally meaning Ox-Ford).
On view until the 31st of December
Arter presents Locus Solus at its 4th and 3rd-floor galleries. Curated by Selen Ansen, the exhibition takes the idea of nature as its centre with the aim of exploring its facets through the lens of history and society. The exhibition brings together works from the Arter Collection with several large-scale installations, including site-specific new productions.
Locus Solus takes the idea of nature as its centre with the aim of exploring its facets through the lens of facts, fictions and emotions. The exhibition is concerned with the ways in which nature and culture permeate and affect each other; how organic processes and natural environments intersect with human agency and edifices. In the exhibition, nature stands primarily as a relational notion which enables to rethink the vast array of connections between places, non-human and human lives. It unfolds as a multi-layered construct, shaped by shared narratives, rituals, elements from the collective unconscious, and individual experiences; and which in return mirrors human fears and desires.
Addressing our contrasted relationship with what we generally refer to as “nature”, the exhibited works stage the reciprocal interplay between heterogeneous realms and formulate a network whose constituents, whether material or not, interconnect. Here, past mirrors future, fantasy encapsulates reality, the physical bonds with the metaphysical, the visible echoes the invisible. Above all, the exhibition is grounded in the realisation that nature isn’t merely a catalogue of things and beings that exist, grow, and perish outside of us, and the conviction that the natural character of nature can no longer be taken for granted.
Locus Solus is conceived at once as a place and a journey. It brings together selected works from the Arter Collection with several large-scale installations, including site-specific new productions. The title of the exhibition, meaning “solitary place” or “unique place” in Latin, is borrowed from the novel with the same name by Raymond Roussel which takes the reader on a stroll among the marvellous artefacts installed in the park of a villa. Alluding to the theatrical universe of Roussel’s novel, Locus Solus sheds light on the spatial emphasis of the exhibition while opening up a territory in which images and symbols travel beyond physical borders.
Artists: Murat Akagündüz, Jananne Al-Ani, Halil Altındere, Maddalena Ambrosio, Yüksel Arslan, Claus Böhmler, Xuefeng Chen, Tacita Dean, Osman Dinç, İnci Eviner, Thomas Geiger, Jytte Høy, Ahmet Doğu İpek, Eva Jospin, Ella Littwitz, Miklós Onucsán, Panamarenko, Sarkis, Erinç Seymen, Bülent Şangar, Yehudit Sasportas, Yaşam Şaşmazer, Cengiz Tekin, Endre Tót, Thu Van Tran, Mariana Vassileva, Werner Zellien.
“And Now The Good News”
On view until the 7th of August
Pera Museum presents new exhibition And Now The Good News, bringing together a comprehensive selection of works from the Annette and Peter Nobel Collection. The exhibition focuses on the dialogue between art and the mass media, taking the invention of the printing press in the late 18th century and the formation of periodic journalism in the 19th century as a starting point. “And Now the Good News: Works from The Nobel Collection” brings together around 300 works of “Press Art” by significant artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Bedri Baykam, Barbara Kruger, Christo, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, Elmgreen & Dragset, Fernand Légér, Georges Braque, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joseph Beuys, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Le Corbusier, Malevich, Man Ray, and Mayakovski.
“The Skin, Body, and I” by İpek Duben
On view until the 8th of May
The most comprehensive exhibition of İpek Duben’s work to date, spanning over forty years of her practice, is presented at SALT Beyoğlu. Referring to the artist’s extensive use of her body image, The Skin, Body, and I offers insight into her works, exploring gender, male violence, displacement, migration, and excessive consumption. The exhibition reevaluates Duben’s entire oeuvre, from drawings and paintings made in the early 1980s to her most recent series Angels and Clowns in 2020.
Comprising a single drawing and eleven paintings, Şerife (1980-1981) is the first body of work in which Duben tackled issues such as migration, perception of the “other,” and gender within a local context. In 1984, Duben had the opportunity to examine miniatures from a broad geography, from Mongolia to Iran, at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The artist’s observations of the painted surfaces, depiction of the figures, spatial structures, and compositions, deeply affected her practice. Her investigation continued first through Manuscript X (2010-2012) and more recently with Suspended (2012-2018).
The period she spent in New York during the 1990s was the start of a new, liberating era for Duben in which she combined her subject matter with different forms and materials. At the beginning of the 2000s, the artist focused on male violence and stories of forced migration. While the artist approached the “other” through the lens of national identity in What is a Turk? (2003), she shifted her focus to displaced individuals—regardless of religion, language, ethnic origin—with Farewell My Homeland (2004). Built from Duben’s observations of the social, cultural, and economic transformations in the last two decades, Angels and Clowns dealt with the contradictions of the new world that normalises extremist consumption while overlooking the devastating losses experienced by a particular segment of society.
The Skin, Body, and I is programmed by Vasıf Kortun together with Amira Akbıyıkoğlu, Farah Aksoy, and Sezin Romi from SALT.
Contemporary Istanbul Foundation
“Limbo”, a new large-scale installation by Canan Tolon
On view until the 31st of May
Trying to untangle the repetitive patterns and rhythms that dominate our lives, the Canan Tolon created a complex environment suspended in time, balancing between cycles of existence and extinction. The site-specific installation shows the interaction of natural materials such as live grass suspended in a series of swings hovering above trays filled with water that are arranged in a rhythmic fashion, to display their gradual transformation. Reminding a group of soldiers lined up in a formation, the swings bring the notion of play into the space of Fisekhane, a former Ottoman-era ammunition factory.
This rhythmic structure of the installation is similar to the patterns of repetition that the artist frequently constructs on the canvas. The past, the future, the sense of belonging and reality are slowly disappearing. According to Tolon, seeing something between layers of paint always requires attention and participation. The situation is no different in Limbo. The struggle of this game is to escape from the inevitable cycle of life and death. As they rust due to contact with water, the metal containers under the swings gradually become the focal point of the exhibition. While water slowly destroys the metal, the grass dries out.
The info is extracted from the press releases of the galleries.