13 Eylül 2008 Cumartesi

Two new exhibitions at İstanbul Museum of Modern Art

One of the exhibitions, "Held Together with Water," brings together the most prominent artists who have influenced the current atmosphere of contemporary art and young artists. The exhibition presents a special selection of works from the collection of Verbund, Austria's leading electricity company. The collection, showcased for the first time outside of Austria, features 116 works from 39 artists, including Cindy Sherman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Jeff Wall, Fred Sandback, Nil Yalter, Şener Özmen and Cengiz Tekin, with a rich variety ranging from sculptures to photographs, film and video and from slides to sound installations.The exhibition, scheduled to run until Jan. 11, shows female and male contemporary artists abandoning painting and turning to new forms of expression, including photography, video and installations. The show's first theme, "Performance," reflects a process starting in the 1970s, when artists were discovering their own bodies, thinking about identity and moving toward feminist rebellion. The second theme, "Spaces/Places," explores the possibility of spaces being demolished and reconstructed by artists focusing on the interaction between art and space.Speaking at a press conference at the museum on Tuesday, Gabriele Scor, the director of the Verbund collection, said the collection brings together many movements from the period between the 1970s and today and juxtaposes older works with more recent trends in contemporary art. He explained that it is trying to create a dialogue between these different periods. The chief curator of the İstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Levent Çalıkoğlu, said this show brings together both legendary artists and young international names. Many of them will be seen by viewers in Turkey for the first time. "This collection, with its special pieces, may constitute a positive example and may act as a guide to the contemporary art collection trend currently being formed in Turkey," he stated.The other exhibition, titled "Human Conditions," consists of photographs by Ergün Turan, Süreyya Yılmaz Dernek and Sıtkı Kösemen. On one wall there are pictures by Turan and Dernek of passers-by on the street, while on the other wall Kösemen's photographs show people "playing dead." The exhibition, with a total of 52 photographs from the two projects, will run until Jan. 25.For four years Turan and Dernek have been photographing people passing through the streets in various districts of İstanbul. These works are juxtaposed with Kösemen's "playing dead" series. Pointing out that the media is full of news about murder and death every day, Köşemen emphasizes that the people in his photographs are in a sense protesting the war, death and pain in the world by feigning death.According to the curator, Engin Özendes, the show may give the impression of being two different exhibitions. But she stresses that the content of the photographs is tightly intertwined, saying, "The difference is only in the styles of the artists."Apart from these two exhibitions, İstanbul Modern is also currently hosting works by three international artists in its nine-video program, titled "The City Rises." Curated by Paolo Colombo, the collection, featuring works by Zbig Rybczynski, Ali Kazma and Fikret Atay, offers the viewer a particular vision of urban life today, distant from the optimism of Futurism, yet equally mesmerizing. The program will be hosted until Jan. 11.
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