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Better days, are they there? Merve & Oktay
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The Vantablack Series
What has Anish Kapoor thought of doing, when he acquired exclusive rights for artistic use of the nanotech surface coating Vantablack developed by the English company NanoSystems? His works exhibited at the mixed exhibition, Sculptors in Print that lasted until the 30th of April at London’s
Marlborough Fine Art, had once again demonstrated the strength of Kapoor’s deep relationship with colors. The aquamarine, red, fuchsia, cobalt blue prints at his Shadows and Horizon Shadows series were as exciting as his sculptures. The question of what Kapoor could have done with the Vantablack was as sensational as well. This
substance made of carbon nanotubes is so black that it absorbs the light at 99,6% and gives the perception that there is a black hole where it stands. The art world was chattering on the absurdity of the monopolization of a color by one artist those last days. We are curious, what Kapoor could have thought?
COURTESY OF VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM
The very famous Herzog & De Meuron, based in Basel, has added the Vitra Campus building to Vitra Design Museum in order to expose their big collection with Shaudepot. The opening will take place on June 3rd. In that very campus there is also Vitra Fire Station (1994) which has signed by Zaha Hadid, that we lost recently. With a collection of works from various big architects, this place seems to call visitors much more than usual. The museum that hosts the most im-
portant furniture collections of the world (including more than 7000 pieces) is not fitting anymore in the first building that Frank Gehry had designes in 1989. Now visitors can enjoy the whole collection at a time that they had seen partially before. In the Shaudepot section 400 modern furniture designs from 1800’s to nowadays will be exhibited. Iconic classical modern designs of Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto ve Gerrit Rietveld will be accompanied by 3D printed works and pop pe-
riod colorful plastic objects. The gallery that Herzog & De Meuron placed in the basement for temporary exhibitions will firstly host 60’s Radical Design movement Italian and Scandinavian designs with Charles and Ray Eames light collection. Radical Design exhibition will be open between June 3 – November 17. // OT design-museum.de
The perfect exhibition
COURTESY OF LOS ANGELES COUNTRY MUSEUM OF ART (LACMA) AND GETTY CENTER
Two concurrent exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Getty Center examine the works and legacy of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential artists of 20th century American art. “The Perfect Medium” is the most comprehensive Mapplethorpe retrospective ever organized to date. Both exhibitions will be on view until July 31st. At the LACMA, large-scale color prints from the
mid-1980s and moving-image works from 1978 and 1984 give an idea of the development of Mapplethorpe’s practice and his technical mastery, while earlier works show the breadth of his inquiry as an artist, and his remarkable sensitivity. At the Getty, lesser-known works such as Mapplethorpe’s small portraits of New York art dealers are among the highlights, as well as sections dedicated to his early portraits, his flowers, and
his controversial retrospective exhibition ‘The Perfect Moment’. Between the two museums, more than 300 works by Mapplethorpe will be on view which were drawn almost entirely from a joint acquisition of art and archival materials made in 2011 by the J. Paul Getty Trust and LACMA from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. // MB lacma.org
A SCENE FROM A PERFORMANCE CALLED ‘ART OF ENTENTE’ IN SALT GALATA , COURTESY OF IŞIL EĞRİKAVUK
I am the king
We are publishing the texts of “I am the King”, a part of Işıl Eğrikavuk’s performance “Art of Disagreement” that was performed between November 28th - December 5th 2015 in Salt Ulus and March 24th - 25th in Salt Galata.
Once upon a time, there was a king in a kingdom. This king was much beloved. Yet one day, the king suddenly passed away, and everyone was in mourning. The king had neither kids nor siblings; he had no one to supersede him. The people started to wonder who would be the new king. With no king around, some from amongst the bourgeoisie went up to the palace, and announced they wanted to be king. The landowners who have seen this, said, “we want to be king as well, we will be king!” and declared themselves to be king, On top of it, the poor have declared themselves to be
king in hopes to become rich. In a while, even children started to declare their kingdom, and ran around saying “I am the king”. Hence, there was no one left in the kingdom that hasn’t declared his kingdom; everyone was a king. No one listened to each other; if someone was to tell something to the other, he would get “Do you know who I am?” as a reply. On top of that, they started to strangle each other since they couldn’t get a long. They even started to beat each other up. Time went by, 117 years 83 days have passed by. No one would pay his taxes, nor went to work. There were thousands of kings and queens in the country. Then one day, an oracle came to the country.
People were lined up to ask the oracle that was the real king. Each of them asked the same question: Who is the king? The oracle listened to each of them, and finally said: “How interesting. I really understand what you mean.” “In fact, all of you can be king. There is no issue with that. Yet the monarchy system has died out. Are you not aware?” People have absently stared each other. All of them were so happy they could become kings that they didn’t even care. They put on their crown and went on to celebrate their kingdom.
yeşil bir gelecek için
95 yıldır, daha iyi bir gelecek hedefiyle yenilikçi teknolojiler üreten Mitsubishi Electric, sürdürülebilir bir dünya için toplumun eko-bilinç düzeyini artırmayı amaçlıyor ve tüm çalışmalarını bu yaklaşımı temsil eden “Eco Changes” ilkesi çerçevesinde sürdürüyor. Küresel ölçekte öncü yeşil bir şirket olan Mitsubishi Electric, Türkiye’de klima sistemleri, fabrika otomasyon sistemleri, ileri robot ve mekatronik CNC sistemlerinin yanı sıra uydu, asansör, görsel veri sistemleri, güç kaynakları ve ulaştırma bağlantılı altyapı işlerinde çevreye dost teknolojik çözümler sunuyor. MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC TURKEY A.Ş. www.mitsubishielectric.com.tr
The legend is back
Mick Jagger: “We’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale. The process has been like planning our touring concert productions and I think that right now it’s an interesting time to do it.” Keith Richards: “While this is about The Rolling Stones, it’s not necessarily only just about the members of the band. It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it’s this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition really interesting.” Ronnie Wood: The scene was great down the King’s Road in the 1960’s. That was where you went to hang out to watch the fashions go by. So it is appropriate that our Exhibitionism will be housed at the wonderful Saatchi Gallery.” Charlie Watts: “It’s hard to believe that it’s more than fifty years since we began and it is wonderful to look back to the start of our careers and bring everything up to date at this exhibition.’’
The legendary Rolling Stones stage their first ever major exhibition at London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery, from 6 April 2016 until September 2016. Exhibitionism is the most comprehensive and immersive insight into a group described by critics as ‘The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’, taking over nine themed galleries, each with its own distinctly designed environment, that will show how the band has changed the way we experience rock and roll. As well as over five hundred Rolling Stones important and unseen artefacts from the band’s personal archives, the exhibition will take the public through the
band’s fascinating fifty year history, embracing all aspects of art & design, film, video, fashion, performance, and rare sound archives. At the heart of the exhibition is of course the Stones musical heritage that took the group from being a hard working London blues band in the early 1960’s to becoming inspirational cultural icons adored by millions. Exhibitionism has taken three years of meticulous planning and will offer a comprehensive insight into the band in a way that has never before been attempted. The exhibition is an interactive tour through the band’s vast artistic oeuvre, and includes original stage designs,
dressing room and backstage paraphernalia; rare guitars and instruments, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and unseen video clips; personal diaries and correspondence; original poster and album cover artwork, and unique cinematic presentations. Collaborations and work by the vast array of artists, designers, musicians and writers will be included in the exhibition – from Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen, and Ossie Clark to Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese. // MB stonesexhibitionism.com
“NEXT GENERATION”LA EN DEĞERLİ VARLIĞINIZ GELECEĞE HAZIRLANIYOR.
Türkiye'de ilk kez gerçekleştirilecek olan genç liderlik programı Next Generation başlıyor. En değerli varlığınız kendi bağlantılarını kuruyor, ''varlık yönetimi'' konusunda bilgilenerek yarınki sorumluluklarına bugünden hazırlanıyor.
TÜRKİYE'DE BİR İLK Detaylı bilgiye 444 00 72 numaralı özel müşteri hattından ulaşabilirsiniz. • İstanbul (Bağdat Cad., Etiler Merkez, Ataşehir, Nişantaşı, Yeşilköy) • Ankara • Bursa • İzmir
COURTESY OF SABRINA AMRANI
Joël Andrianomearisoa in 5 Questions
We caught the artist awarded the IV Audemars Piguet Prize at ARCOmadrid, at the VIP Lounge with his installation named The Labyrinth of Passions… You are the first non-Spanish artist who won the award. How do you feel about it? Being the first non-spanish who won the award means that the world ( the art world ) is now more curious … art is beyond our nationality. Non-spanish artist doesn’t mean anything i prefer to talk about the world. The diversity of the world. I’m from Madagascar / working between Antananarivo,Paris … showing my work in Madrid … New York … and in love with the world. What do you think about awards for artists? Award is always good ! A good opportunity to explore something different A good opportunity to expand your world
Could you please a little tell about your work of art, The Labyrinth of Passions which won the award? The labyrinth of Passions For Audemars Piguet i build an installation: The Labyrinth of Passions. An immersive experience made with paper. All are possible descriptions of these large paper pieces suspended to the point of saturating the room, obliging visitors to force their way in. Amour impossible, ultimate caresses of black papers, with no other frustration than an inaccessible body. A promenade from light to darkness where we can feel the necessity of desire and passion. What means black for you? Joy and pain Smile and tears You and me Day and night
Hello and goodbye Beauty and drama Antananarivo and Istanbul … All and nothing The first hours of the night From the emotion that i can get from a first glance to the air from Paris. The rendez-vous with the night to conjure up the unforgettable and the inconsolable that the day has left behind. The games of impossible love The caress of the wind Black is duality. // OT sabrinaamrani.com
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A SCREEN SHOT FROM EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP ( A DOCUMENTARY OF BANKSY ) , 2010
Olly olly oxen free!
Do we love Banksy? Yes we do. Do we want to know who he is? No we don’t. When Time magazine selected Banksy for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, he supplied a press picture of himself with a paper bag over his head. “If you want to say something and have people listen” he said, “then you have to wear a mask.” Just like Kahlo’s deliberately visible moustache or Kaf Kafka’s never ending depression, the mystery that materializes as a paper bag is one of the main pillars of Banksy’s artistic expression. This secrecy boldly underlines some kind of illegality, a rigorous opposition, a Robin Hood-like stance against the existing system. The fact that his works now command millions of dollars and he gets the red carpet treatment from the most prestigious institutions of the very system he opposes change nothing. In fact if the paper bag disappears things might change and perhaps that’s the issue... The problem is, Banksy’s identity has been somewhat known since 2008, and it is even clearer now. A
new scientific study recently revealed the name Robin Gunningham (yes, Robin...) as discovered by the Mail on Sunday back in 2008. But this time, the story has an interesting twist: The study conducted by scientists at London’s Queen Mary University claims to have discovered the identity of Banksy by using geographic profiling, a technique used to catch serial criminals. The researchers maintain the artist’s identity isn’t really the point. They say the purpose of the study is to use the identification of Banksy as an example of how geographical profiling can help catch more serious criminals. “These results support previous suggestions that analysis of minor terrorism-related acts (e.g., graffiti) could be used to help locate terrorist bases before more serious incidents occur” the report states. (Translation: “You have to nip in the bud.”) We don’t even bother to fiddle around with the fact that the report cites graffiti as an example of a “minor terrorism related act” at the moment but within the framework of current legislation Banksy may well be considered a “serial criminal”.
What he does is somehow still illegal. Geographical profiling is a sophisticated technique based on statistical analysis. The scientists looked for a correlation between 140 artworks in London and Bristol attributed to Banksy, and 10 commonly touted names purported to be him (which include a car park attendant, a woman, a team of 7 artists). According to the Independent, the analysis revealed a series of hotspots (a pub, a playing field, a residential address in Bristol, and three addresses in London) narrowing down a number of areas for the researchers to investigate further. After cross-referencing the hotspots with publicly accessible information on the list of 10 potential Banksy “candidates,” the researchers came up with the name Robin Gunningham. So what did Banksy do? Nothing. Perhaps this is the best thing to do. Playing the three monkeys... We really don’t want to know. We don’t want to open that paper bag and instantly consume what’s inside. // MB
Watches treated like works of art
PATEK PHILIPPE, REF.2499
The watches that will be sold at the Important Watches Auction in Geneva organized by Christie’s Auction House, this year included Istanbul to its pre-auction tour for the first time. Thomas Perazzi, Christie’s International Watch Director, responded to our questions on the models to be sold this year, and the ever-increasing watch auctions. If all of these valuable watches, also stopping by Istanbul, were antique pocket watches, you may not have been able to read this article. Yet, most of the watches Christie’s exhibited in Istanbul before the sales in Geneva, are made up of wristwatches, although they include some pocket watches. These wristwatches are models that people did not even stare at once upon a time, perceiving them as second hand. Lately, there is an increasing demand for these watches although they have newly been produced. The pioneering auction houses could not have missed the opportunity here. Hence you’re reading this article today. To better understand how the value of your wristwatch could potentially increase in a couple of years… It is fair to say that the interest in mechanic watches significantly increased in the last 10 years. The grandiosity of Switzerland’s marketing efforts, and the brands’ determinations to stress the mechanic watches as ‘masterpieces’, and engineering marvel ‘special’ products play a great role in this. Well, what happened to those watches in the late years that Perazzi defines
PATEK PHILIPPE, REF.2523/1
them as ‘important’, and their sales have skyrocketed? He replies: “We have seen a constant increasing interest for important watches in the last years. The reason is that more and more people has recognised the importance and rarity of some pieces thanks to Internet and more from specialised magazines. We have been approached by new countries, like Middle East, where before vintage watches were not considered like important or collectible because simply considered as second hand. The recent incredible results obtained shows the confidence that collectors have in rare watches even during this difficult economic period.” This does not mean that every watch will find a buyer at the auction. In fact, it is enough to look at the latest auctions, or in general the selling brands to better understand which watches easily find their buyers. Although with a great variety, only certain brands having earned international acclaim, create extremely complex mechanisms, and produce them in very limited quantities. There are three big names: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vaheron Constantin are top three. The big three. This doesn’t mean that brands like Rolex, Jaeger-leCoultre, IWC, Panerai, Omega, Tag Heuer or Gerald Genta -having designed for iconic watches such as IWC, Universal Genève, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet, defined by Christie’s as “the Fabergé of watches” - watches will not find their truly deserved value. Perazzi replies on which watches to buy, or whi-
ch watches will become more valuable in the future: “Those brands are considered as the most important ones in the watchmaking industry. Unfortunately is not always true that if you buy a high quality watch from a prestigious manufactures it means that you will have at least your money back. During my 10 years experience in the international watch auction market I have seen many examples of important timepiece sold much lower that the retail price. That is essential to be advised before a purchase that is why the Christie’s Watch Dept if for. The today offer is plenty of important watches. If I would need to choose one, I would select a brand with an important background on complicated movements where also the production is limited a not too many examples per year. Then it is always important to remember that you have to buy what you like!” The importance of and the gossip on these auctions will undoubtedly increase in the future. The most popular gossip was that these brands were bidding for their own watches to increase their value. Same gossip applies to works of art. Leading from this, I asked Perazzi whether we could see these craftsmanship and engineering marvels as art objects. He replied: ““Most of iconic wristwatches were designed by famous artists or designers. The combination of aesthetics and high engineering makes watches from all the periods a truly object of art!” // OT christies.com
HURİ KİRİŞ,IN THE DARK, 2015, 90X130 CM
The dispossessed had come ashore in darkness*.
* 1. Noun The state of lightlessness. “The dampness of the sea was intertwined to the smell of pine that we caught in darkness.” – H. S. Tanrıöver 2. Adj. Lightless 3. Sadness, distress, misery ““As I had told you, a mourning darkness had spread all over the homeland.” Y.K. Karaosmanoğlu 4. Adj. Against the law, the tradition “They shall be called to account for all their darkness.” - M. Ş. Esendal 5. Adj. What cannot be fully understood, uncertain (situation) “I sense a darkness in Fahri’s eyes, a look between despair and anger.” - A. Ümit 6. Adj. Mixed
FERMIN JIMENEZ LANDA AND PETER WICK , METEOROLOGIST , METEONEWS AG , ZURICH , PHOTO : MANIFESTA 11
What would you do for money?
Manifesta, starting on the 11th of June, will demonstrate the answers provided to a very general yet important question in one of the world’s richest cities, Zurich. Contemporary art’s European biennial says: What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures. Zurich may not be your destination for this summer. Yet the European Contemporary Art Biennial Manifesta is a significant one in the answers given to the questions it asks as well as its location. Manifesta consciously chooses to take place in cities where contemporary art is not heavily present, and transforms these places into sanctuaries. Well Zurich does not really fit into this profile. Hence the distinctiveness of the 11th biennial. Having been to Manifesta in Trentino-Alto Adige in 2008, and suffered the ordeal of traveling from one venue to another in the largely propagated exhibition area, the 11th biennial will surely be an easy one to visit. If it’s going to be your first experience, let’s say you’re lucky. Zurich is one of the tidiest cities in the world; it
is impossible to get lost, nor to have something happen to you. It is also a unique city that has been the center of money in Europe. Very rich, very powerful, very calm, very orderly, very, very, very… In a city co-related with money, we shall ask the question: What would men not do for money? I was in Zurich at the end of March; preparations for Manifesta were on their way. Even then, you could find informative publications everywhere in the city on what Manifesta is, what it asks, why it is important that the answer will be provided in Zurich. I still keep one on my desk that feels like a tourist guide. The curatorial concept developed by Christian Jankowski, focuses on various professions in Zurich, and their relationship with art. 30 international artists have interviewed professionals of their choice; the outcome will be exhibited in spaces such as Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, LUMA Westbau / POOL, Kunsthalle Zürich and Helmhaus.
Another contribution of the biennial to the city is the Pavillion of Reflections on the Zurich Lake. This temporary platform designed and constructed by Studio Tom Emerson, houses a LED screen showing films on the backstage of the collaborations between the artists and the ‘workers’, a pool, a sitting lounge, and a bar. Mike Bouchet, one of the 30 artists, preferred to demonstrate what people living in Zurich eat with the money they earn, and what the outcome is in the end, instead of talking to a profession expert and asking what he does with money. While I write this article, they were installing 80 tons of Zürcher ‘feces’ at the entrance level of the Migros Museum. This Manifesta will be a very interesting and easy to discover biennial as it takes place in one of the most orderly and easy to travel cities in the world. Gift yourself a ticket to Zurich, and looking at what people do for money, think again: What do you do for money? // OT manifesta11.org
WATER SPLASH CRYSTALLIZATION DRESS , 2013 , IRIS VAN HERPEN
Today clothing can act as a video monitor, mood detector, medical monitoring device, or even give a hug when needed… Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the exhibition #techstyle examines the synergy between fashion and technology. Fabrics that respond to the environment, bags that charge your smart phone and shoes that come off a 3D printer... Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the exhibition #techstyle examines how the synergy between fashion and technology not only changing design and manufacturing, but also the way people interact with their clothes by looking at the works of designers including Alexander McQueen, VIKTOR&ROLF Haute Couture, Iris van Herpen, Ralph Lauren and Francis Bitonti. The exhibition will be on view until July 10.
Presenting 33 designers from around the world, #techstyle features more than 60 works of art, from fashion and accessories to photography and video. The exhibition focuses on the latest cutting-edge, high-tech fashion with five commissions created by Hussein Chalayan, Kate Goldsworthy, London-based CuteCircuit, Francis Bitonti and Somerville-based Nervous System. The exhibition explores how established designers such as Chalayan, McQueen, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo have been at the forefront of incorporating technology into their collections. The designers’ work is complemented by video and photography, revealing how technology is changing the way fashion is created, functions, and is disseminated to the world through new media. The rest of the show is organized into two themes, Production and Performance, and draws on the
MFA’s collection of contemporary fashion and accessories and key loans from innovators in the field. Highlights of the exhibition range from the “Ricky Bag with Light,” Ralph Lauren’s commercially available hand bag that can charge a cell phone, to “The Spike,” British bionic pop artist and MIT Media Lab fellow Viktoria Modesta’s high-tech artificial leg. The exhibition also features multimedia installations capturing live fashion shows, the 3D printing process and striking visuals of the garments in action—from the ballet to the runway in addition to Marcus Tomlinson’s 2010 Airplane Dress video featuring Chalayan’s remote control operated dress. // MB mfa.org/techstyle
Burhan Doğançay, 1994,Red Door (Kırmızı Kapı), Akrilik, Kilit, Kapı Zili, Menteşe, Ahşap, 178x101 cm.
Bir müzede uyuyamazsınız ama
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On the courteous and delicate relationship between fashion and machines
DRESS , IRIS VAN HERPEN , AUTUMN / WINTER 2013 – 14 HAUTE COUTURE , THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART ,PURCHASE , FRIENDS OF THE COSTUME INSTITUTE GIFTS , 2015 , COURTESY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART , PHOTO © NICHOLAS ALAN COPE
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Costume Institute will, in this year’s spring exhibition, touch upon a very interesting subject, and investigate how fashion keeps the balance between human hand labor and machines. The title of Eric Wilson’s article published at the New York Times on the 28th of April 2010 was Why Does This Pair of Pants Cost $550? Surprisingly, the article tells a lot about the exhibition Manus x Machina, Fashion in an Age of Technology to be held at The Met from the 5th of May until the 14th of August. Wilson takes us on an investigative journalism trip from a simple fashion item, a pair of men’s khaki pants, to look for the answer to the following question: Why do some brands ask for more for the same product? Here’s a question we always think about, but never try to go deep in understanding. Although the answer is quite evident, we risk missing a simple reality, as we act keen on creating conspiracies. First, we perceive price to be directly proportional to quality, as is most often the case. When determining the price of an item (and
EVENING DRESS , YVES SAINT LAURENT , AUTUMN / WINTER 1969–70 HAUTE COUTURE , THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART , GIFT OF BARON PHILIPPE DE ROTHSCHILD , 1983 , COURTEST OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART , PHOTO © NICHOLAS ALAN COPE
here the item is fashion industry’s product: clothing) factors like scarcity, the amount of process and hand labor during production become effective. It would be also be true to say that the notion of ‘fast fashion’ is the contribution of machines to human life. It is also true to say that elitist fashion has become more democratic. You can tell the difference between a pair of pants from Zara and that from Giorgio Armani, even if you don’t see the product: One is probably sewn by a worker with machines under bad working conditions at the back of beyond somewhere in the world, the other is sewn at hand by a tailor who has dedicated his life to this, in Armani’s own workshops. This is the first and most important factor in the brand’s pricing politics. The value of brands and the reflection of costs on the products are out of the scope of this article. Is it possible to preserve the delicate relationship between fashion and machines the way it is, or take it further? Maybe in the near future, we will enter a machine, and get out of it with a fitted suit. Although mine totally sounds like a Jetsons fantasy, you might find your
own. Until that day, you know that the best suits will be tailored in London’s Saville Row. At last, there will always be a difference between the hand made and the machine made. It is not possible to comment on whether this difference will be in the good or bad direction. Manus x Machina will show us how human hands and machines are trying to keep the balance in their roles, starting from the 19th century when sewing machines and haute couture was born, until today. The exhibition of the same works hand labored with traditional techniques and produced in modern machines, will lead us to think further on the relationship between fashion and machines. For those like me, who believe that hand labor should always be present in our lives; a room showing how a couture workshop is, will be on show. Let’s observe if this show will be as much on demand as the previous shows The Costume Institute put on stage. // OT metmuseum.org
OKİ SATO, COURTESY OF DESIGN MUSEUM HOLON
‘Addicted to Design’
As one of the most productive design firms of late years, Nendo invites you to understand why owner Oki Sato acts like an addict in designing everything, and to observe the playful, creative, practical products of this addiction in a retrospective to last for four months at Israel’s first design museum, the Design Museum of Holon. Think of a person who can simultaneously work on 400 projects. Although Oki Sato claims this is a relaxing process for him, it is evident that he designs with superhuman effort and takes pleasure in it. The outcome
takes you back to a playful childhood period. At last year’s Milano Design Week, Nendo did a retrospective of the 100 products he designed for 19 different brands over a period of one year. Now, Israel’s Ron Arad designed Design Museum Holon’s galleries will host these entertaining design items, in an exhibition that will start on the 8th of June and last until the 30th of October. The exhibition will put a spotlight on the 14-year-old entertaining Japanese brand Nendo, and Sato’s point of view on design. The retrospective called The Space in Between, is
made out of six sections, and includes 74 different designs. Nendo’s approach to design tells us where the name of the retrospective comes from: According to Sato, Nendo first starts by understanding the prejudices on a product, and layers them, while later sprouting new design ideas in between these layers. Curated by Maria Cristina Didero, the exhibition tells the story of a hardworking Japanese designer’s career rather than the brand Nendo. // OT dmh.org.il
Nana - Aqua Creations
Nispetiye Mah. Aytar Cad. No: 24 Kat: 1-2-3 1.Levent - İstanbul / 0212 279 29 03
TEFAF 2016 Highlights Words Dennis van Egmond One of the things that every visitor notices the minute they walk into Tefaf, is the quest for perfection that all partners and participants are on. Tefaf selects the best art dealers, with a waiting list for many years and a very high standard of admission, works with the best caterer. The flowers get refreshed every night, it takes many weeks to build up the fair
Galerie Cybele An Egyptian mirror Bronze Height 25.2 cm Egypt, early to mid 18th Dynasty Kingdom, circa 15501425 BC “Who will have had this in his or her hand, and what did he or she see in the mirror? The ancient Egyptians were clearly fascinated by beauty and perfection. The mirror clearly connects form with function, putting even more emphasis on this female body.”
Galerie Talabardon et Gautier Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) Smell Oil on panel 21.6 x 17.8 cm Monogram upper right ‘RF’ or ‘RHF’ “A child’s dream; the painting you uncovered in a small auction house is actually a Rembrandt! The small oil painting, part of a series of different medical paintings, was uncovered at a small auction house last September. Valued then between 500 and 800 dollar, but before Tefaf started already sold for over a million dollars. It was sold under agreement that it would be shown throughout Tefaf: and drew a crowd by itself. Not my favourite Rembrandt, and clearly work from a very young (17 or 18 years old) Rembrandt, but a fantastic find.”
(which usually is done in a few days) and the restaurants bring their best staff. All in order for beauty to be shown in its true splendour. For several years we have been partners, with our lighting sculptures (brandvanegmond.com) all over the fair and with our own stand. It’s both an honour as well as a pleasure to light up some of the most beautiful
Wallace Chan Wallace Chan (China, 1956) My dreams Ring with tourmaline 1pc 11.56ct, aquamarine 1pc 9.93ct, tourmaline 1pc 1.97ct, lapis lazuli, diamond, tsavorite garnet and a pink sapphire 3.5 x 3.5 cm Signed by Wallace Chan Hong Kong, 2015 “A new comer to Tefaf, the Hong Kong jeweller who started being a jeweller from the age of 17. This piece is called ‘My Dreams.’ It’s 3,5 by 3,5 cm, with diamond, pink sapphire, aquamarine, azurite and tourmaline. Last September he hit the news for making the most expensive necklace ever, with 11,551 diamonds, in total 383 karat. Price? 200 million US Dollars.”
Gregg Baker Asian Art Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828) A two-fold screen with a crow perched in a persimmon tree Paper, painted in ink and colour on a gold ground with a karasu (crow) perched in a kaki (persimmon) tree holding a ripened fruit in its mouth 180 x 180 cm Signed ‘Ōson Hōitsu hitsu’ Japan, Edo period, 19th century “A 2 fold screen, 19 th century Japan. Paper, painted in ink and a colour on a gold ground. Sakai Hoitsu was one of the most prominent painters of the late 18th and early 19th century. This serene screen, is almost moving in its simplicity and refined beauty. As it’s from paper, it gives a fragile and very delicate impression. The angularity if the branches are beautiful as well; balanced yet in contrast.”
art of the last millennia on the market with the handwork of our 21st century craftsman. I have selected a few pieces that caught my eye. One of the secret delights of being a participant with a stand is the possibility to arrive early, and be completely alone amidst all this art before the doors are officially opened.
Galerie 1492 Aztec culture The Maize deity seated, called Chicomecoatl (seven serpents) Volcanic stone with remains of red pigment overall. She is shown wearing a headdress taller than herself, known as Amacalli. Paper house, it is one of the most significant attributes 46 x 25 x 17 cm Aztec culture, Mexico, circa 13001521 AD “Aztec – who live in Mexico- piece. This piece represents one of the deities that the Aztec worshipped ‘chicomecoatl’ ; literally ‘seven snakes’. The goddess of agriculture, with power over nature and therefore had to be appeased with human and other sacrifices. In some parts of Mexico her cult still lives on through its integration with the Catholic faith. The volcanic stone is the material: rough and porous, and finely crafted. It’s if a voice from a different world talks to me.”
Didier Ltd. Andy Warhol (USA, 1928-1987) Times Five watch Black metal, with five photographic dials with red hands, each showing a different view of the Factory. With a presentational display box on legs in wood and glass and a red cardboard outer cases. Edition 145 of 250. 21.5 x 2.4 cm Movado, 145/250 “A watch, designed by Andy Warhol right before his death, with for me a sense of humour. Including black-andwhite photographs of Manhattan in the 80’s. The design consists of a band of five dials with bright red hands, each of which displays a black and white picture taken by Warhol of buildings in NYC. The watch was finished after his death.”
Aronson Antiquairs Dirck Witsenburgh Pair of blue and white pyramidal flower vases Porcelain Height 104.6 and 105.8 cm The pedestals marked for De Witte Ster (The White Star) factory, attributed to Dirck Witsenburgh, partial owner of the factory from 1690-1704 Delft, circa 1695 “This pair of tall blue and white pyramidal vases is a powerful symbol for the wealth of the Golden Age of The Netherlands in the 17th century. Mostly found at European royal courts, and even there primarily used during official banquets and in those cases filled with flowers. The blue and white vase with flowers I find typically Dutch, yet this form more like a pagoda from the East. As Tefaf is famous for its elaborate flower displays I find this a beautiful match between all worlds.”
With hundreds of lighting sculptures from our hands at Tefaf, we received a lot of applause for our new Kelp collection. The restaurant Concorde had several installations of them: frivolous and light-hearted, spirited and energetic. The arched and curved Kelp reflects the light warmly in red copper, as in a crackling open fireplace. www.brandvanegmond.com
teamLab, Siyah Dalgalar / Black Waves, 2016
teamLab: Sanat ile Fiziksel Mekânın Arasında teamLab: Between Art and Physical Space
KÜRATÖR/CURATOR CHARLES MEREWETHER
Wang Sishun, Hakikat / Truth, 23.09.2014
Sadece hafta sonları 10.00–20.00 arası ziyarete açıktır.
Müze Cafe’nin Boğaz’a karşı nefis manzarasında bir kahve içmeyi unutmayın.
Rumelihisarı Mahallesi Baltalimanı Hisar Caddesi No: 5, Perili Köşk Sarıyer İstanbul Biletler
BORUSAN ÇAĞDAŞ SANAT KOLEKSİYONU'NDAN BİR SEÇKİ A SELECTION FROM THE BORUSAN CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTION
Güverte Yolculuğu Deck Voyage 05.03.2016–21.08.2016
DEĞERLİ KATKILARI İÇİN TEŞEKKÜR EDERİZ W I T H S P EC I A L T H A N KS TO
KÜRATÖR/CURATOR NECMİ SÖNMEZ
Body and memory
TOP LEFT : PINA BAUSCH IS DANCING SOLO AT DANZÓN (DETAIL) , PHOTO : JOCHEN VIEHOFF TOP RIGHT : VOLLMOND(FULLMOON) , WUPPERTAL , MAY 2006 , PHOTO : LAURENT PHILIPPE BOTTOM : SPRING CEREMONY , PHOTO : ZERRİN AYDIN - HERWEGH
An extensive exhibition at Bonn’s Bundeskunsthalle commemorates Pina Bausch, who is considered as a pioneer of modern dance theater and one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century. Passed away in 2009 the artist had developed a form of dance theatre which, in connection with her name, has long since become an independent genre. The exhibition focuses not only on her work in terms of staged performances but above all on the very foundations of the choreographer’s oeuvre, on her creative practice and on the key aspects and people that have shaped her progress. At the heart of the exhibition is the reconstruction of the Lichtburg, the legendary rehearsal space in an old Wuppertal cinema, in which Pina Bausch developed most of her pieces with her dancers. Outsiders are rarely admitted to this intimate
space. At the Bundeskunsthalle it becomes a space in which visitors can meet members of the company who will introduce them to characteristic dance theatre movements and short sequences of moves. Performances, dance workshops, public rehearsals, conversations, films and much more transform the rehearsal studio into a vibrant, experiential space. While many of Pina Bausch’s pieces are still being performed by the Wuppertal dance theatre, thus enabling audiences to experience the fruits of her work, this exhibition is dedicated to preceding and accompanying origination and development processes. The selection and compilation was inspired by statements the artist made while looking back on her artistic path on the occasion of receiving the Kyoto Prize. A collection of documentary material from the extensive archive
at the Pina Bausch Foundation illustrates her method and focuses on her motives and inspirations. Pina Bausch’s main focus was on human beings and their individual, social, and cultural imprinting. Her multilayered, collage-like pieces were inspired by fundamental topics of existence. She was particularly interested in the relationship between man and woman which she recurrently explored in new variations. In Pina Bausch’s choreographic and directorial work, the body as a memory depository and its movements as an expression of lived experience are both the starting point and the purpose. The dance theatre inspired by this approach awakens associations, provides food for thought, and triggers laughter. The exhibition will be on view until July 24. For more information please visit www.bundeskunsthalle.de
VitrA Çağdaş Mimarlık Dizisi Sunar:
GEÇ OLMADAN EVE DÖN Konutun Serüveni Üzerine Bir Sergi Küratör: Cem Sorguç
31 MART - 26 HAZİRAN 2016 Salı - Pazar (10.00 - 18.00) Perşembe (10.00 - 20.00) İstanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo 4, 34433, Karaköy
VÇMD #5 www.VitrACagdasMimarlikDizisi.com facebook.com/VitrACagdasMimarlikDizisi
Portrait as a monkey (Serkan Özkaya), 2015 Photo: Olaf Breuning.
If you haven’t downloaded yet, you are missing the fun... Launched last year by Serkan Özkaya, the digital public art project called MyMoon is an augmented reality application for smart phones. After downloading the app from mymoonapp.com, you an chase the moon wherever you are. Using the GPS system in your smart phone, the application detects the moon
in the sky. All you have to do is to follow the arrows on the screen to see the moon even if you are indoors. Özkaya explains: MyMoon app transforms smart phones that enrich our lives into a window, and places a large round rock just beside the moon as a public art work. Utilizing the smartphone’s GPS location coordinates, MyMoon prompts users to follow an arrow
directing them to the location of artwork in the sky made visible to the naked eye through the phone’s screen. Users can snap a shot of the piece and upload it to mymoonapp.com. This way thousands of photographs coming from around the world constitute a semi-anonymous archive created by MyMoon followers, users and collaborators.” // MB
sanat için alan İstiklal Caddesi No: 211, İstanbul arter.org.tr Salı-Perşembe 11:00-19:00 Cuma-Pazar 12:00-20:00 Giriş ücretsiz
© MARCEL WANDERS, RIJKS, MASTERS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, A MARCEL WANDERS PUBLICATION, 2016
Print will not die, it will change form
Rijks, Master of the Golden Age, coming to life from designer Marcel Wanders’ creative mind, is a remarkable book proving the high value of the “printed”, in a digital world, where printed media, and books are rather seen to be outdated. How long do you think printed press will last? Will everything subsequently be online, or should it be? These questions have been asked by many for a long while now. By many, I mean people willing to read, research, discover, and following many publications in this aim. The people not belonging to this group will easily adapt to the consequence. In a period when everything can be read and found on the Internet, printed publications need to improve themselves, and create superior content rather than ‘copy-paste’. Unfortunately, printed media is suffering
in Turkey, due to high printing costs, and the ‘cheapness’ the creative industry has surrendered itself to. We do not aim to create valuable content nor encourage collection of it, on the opposite; we see rubbish being highly valued with the intent of pure profit. The first reason: We do not read! Thinking about this, a book that I strayed into, gave me hope. I have long been following designer Amsterdammer Marcel Wanders, and had twice interviewed this interesting loose cannon. What makes him interesting is I think his fast-hyper-pioneer character. Although his design language does not strike me, his success is evident. Wanders gathered the works of 17th century Dutch painters from Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour in a book. It sounds ordinary, or even redundant until you
learn that he has enlarged the most important details of these paintings, made calligraphy of on extremely high quality material, and had experts in their fields write their views on the relevant paintings. Rijks, Masters of the Golden Age is certainly a different take on art books. To further emphasize the value of print, it be on market in three different editions: a golden edition (70 x 50 x 9 cm) with a price TBD on demand, a limited silver edition with same dimensions as the golden, and a more accessible coffee table format (33,2 x 23,7 x 5 cm). As I pointed out in the title, print will never die, but what will be printed will be a discussion to further reflect on. // OT rijksmastersofthegoldenage.com
ANTONIO COSENTINO cigara viski kolileri denizlerde, feráre sevgilim 18 MAYIS – 2 TEMMUZ 2016
Feráre, 2015, Teneke ve araba lastiği, 230x70x90 cm
ZILBERMAN GALLERY - İSTANBUL
HEBA Y. AMIN
Dünya Kusurlu Bir Elipsoid
Heba Y. Amin, Burçak Bingöl, Azade Köker, Şükran Moral, Imran Qureshi, Walid Siti
ALPİN ARDA BAĞCIK
18 Mayıs – 2 Temmuz 2016
29 Nisan – 30 Temmuz 2016
13 – 18 Haziran 2016 Markthalle, Basel • Booth No: B01
TOP LEFT : ADRIANA CALVO , TOP RIGHT : EDDY KLAUS , BOTTOM : UNAL AURENCI
Health benefits of art
Gauguin was bipolar, Munch suffered from manic depression and Kerouac was schizophrenic. Poe, Dostoyevsky and Lautrec had to struggle with depression related alcoholism. Van Gogh, Plath and Rothko killed themselves. Yet, can we still argue that art is good for health? Yes we can, because now we have the scientific proof... A survey conducted by Australian scientists found that engaging in any art activity two hours a week has a positive impact on our mental health. There are many previous studies that have shown the positive effect of the arts on mental and physical health. What’s new here is that, we now know the minimum dose: 2 hours a
week. Anything less than that doesn’t work. The study conducted by Dr. Christina Davies from Western Australia University is based on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) which was co-developed by Warwick and Edinburgh Universities in 2006. Within this framework 702 randomly selected Australian adults who engage in all kinds of arts activities one way or the other were interviewed on the phone. One key element here is the fact that the researchers have been able to eliminate all other variables that may influence the results such as education level, income, marital status, if the person exercises regularly or even had a vacation in the previous
year. The results showed the difference on the WEMWB scale between those who had a least two hours a week of arts activity and those who did not was huge. Arts engagement increases happiness, confidence, self-esteem and reduces stress and social isolation. It results in the creation of good memories and has an impact on a person’s knowledge and skills. In an interview with Artshub Davis says “Maybe it’s listening to 20 minutes of your favourite music on the way to work or doing a colouring book in your lunch hour or if you have the money going to the theatre. There are so many ways of engaging with the arts.” // MB
THE DORMANT COLONY LUDOVIC BERNHARDT
NEWS FROM NOWHERE LUZ BLANCO
Asmalı Mescit Mah. Asmalı Mescit Sk. No:32/A Beyoğlu/İstanbul sanatorium.com.tr | email@example.com | +90 212 293 67
FENDI creates a scientific area
LEFT TOP : STILBERT EDUCATION WORKSITE , ©ISCR , MIBACT 2015 , LEFT BOTTOM : COROMALDI EDUCATION WORKSITE , ©ISCR , MIBACT 2015 , RIGHT : COROMALDI EDUCATION WORKSITE , ©ISCR , MIBACT 2015.
Creativity, culture, quality and savoir-faire are the common values that FENDI and Sartoria Massoli. Following the support to the tailor academy ‘Accademia di Sartoria Maria Antonietta Massoli’ in Casperia, FENDI continues to focus on talent development, youth training and savoir-faire transmission. This time, FENDI supports the arts and the ‘ISCR - Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro’ (Institute for Conservation and Restoration), the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism technical body specialized in the conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. In fact, in the ISCR headquarters in Rome, in the San Michele a Ripa Grande monumental complex, operates the ‘SAF – Scuola di Alta Formazione (School of Professional Training ). Here, future restorers are educated through a didactic model with a close link between te-
chnical-practical courses, historical and scientific disciplines (chemistry, physics and biology). “The collaboration with the ISCR is an integral part of our important investment project in support of savoir-faire and of its transmission from one generation to another. FENDI is an Italian, Roman, Maison, and, as such, we feel the duty to protect and safeguard our precious Italian cultural heritage and, in particular, the heritage of Rome, our city” city”, states Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of FENDI. In collaboration with the ISCR, FENDI has decided to create a scientific area, exclusively dedicated to the students, where they will be trained with ad hoc equipment and assess the effectiveness of conservation and restoration diagnostic techniques. “The science laboratories supported and created by FENDI
will enable the students of the ‘Scuola di Alta Formazione e Studio dell’ISCR’ to gain an increasing confidence with technology, understand more deeply the scientific methods and underpin intervention choices based on objective and validated data” data”, states Anna Maria Giovagnoli, Deputy Director of the ‘Scuola di Alta Formazione’ (SAF). FENDI confirms once again its patronage of Rome and of its incredible artistic and cultural heritage, further strengthening the deep bond with the city after the restoration of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana as FENDI’s new headquarters and of the Trevi Fountain and the complex of the Four Fountains, through the FENDI For Fountains project that will continue in 2016 in support of other four fountains of Rome - Gianicolo, Mosè, Peschiera and Ninfeo del Pincio.
AMALIA ULMAN , EXCELLENCES & PERFECTIONS ( INSTAGRAM UPDATE , 8 JULY 2014 , ( ITSJUSTDIFFERENT ) , 2015 , COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Seize the moment
Performing for the Camera examines the relationship between photography and performance, from the invention of photography in the 19th century to the selfie culture of today. The exhibition will be on view until June 12 at Tate Modern. Bringing together over 500 images of more than 50 photographers spanning 150 years, this comprehensive exhibition is built on the idea that every photograph is in fact a performance. With this exhibition, curator Simon Baker not only explores the relationship between performance art and camera but also highlights the
idea that being photographed can also be considered as a type of performance in its own right; posing for the camera has become a way of constructing our own self-identity. Hailed by critics as thorough and elaborate as a “phd thesis” the exhibition engages with serious, provocative and sensational topics with humor, improvisation and irony. It shows how photographs have captured performances by important artists including Yves Klein and Yayoi Kusama, and unforgettable collaborations between photographers, performers and dancers.
It looks at how artists including Francesca Woodman, Erwin Wurm and others have used photography as a stage on which to perform, and how figures from Cindy Sherman and Hannah Wilke to Marcel Duchamp and Samuel Fosso have used photography to explore identity. From marketing and self-promotion, to the investigation of gender and identity, to experiments with the self-portrait, Performing for the Camera brings together a diverse selection of works including vintage prints, large scale works, marketing posters and artists working with Instagram.
HAYAT TERASTA... Ege sahillerinin bakir kumsallarının, büyüleyici doğasıyla iç içe olduğu Çeşme Paşalimanı Koyu’nun en gözde noktasında yükselen, lüks ve konforun buluştuğu muhteşem projede mükemmel rezidans alternatifleri. spaceistanbul.com / ref: 4643
“Evinizin eşsiz sıcaklığını tatil rahatlığında yaşamanız için her şey hazır.”
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ZAHA HADID , PHOTO : MARCO GROB
Words Melkan Gürsel
The first time I was physically introduced to Zaha was in 2005 at the World Congress of Architecture organized in Istanbul. We were sharing a table at one of the formal events. When I came near Zaha whom we had previously heard to be stubborn and passionate, and even intimidating with her strict attitude, I got to know someone elegant, elaborate, frank, and immaculate in every sense. This discovery was easier than
perceiving her as a ‘rock star’. Then, we went to the restaurant on the top floor of our headquarters with a small group. It was a nice evening. Zaha loved Istanbul very much, and came here quite of often. Who knows maybe this place was the closest East for her without being apart from the West… Just as is the case for us… She even had plans to buy a house in Istanbul and in Bodrum. As one of the ambassadors of modern deconstructivist mo-
vement, Zaha both challenged physics rules such as weight, and gravity and designed attractive and calming forms of nature by re-creating them in space. She deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest minds of our era as a pioneer architect, a determined woman, and a forward thinking mind. She was herself as tough yet as soft as her architecture. I am glad to have known her. May you rest in peace Dear Zaha.
On Ekphrasis Words Barış Acar The void between what is visible and sayable is not the conflict between the eye and the tongue, but the void between the seer, the speaker and that who decides who sees what and how and who is entitled to speak on what is seen. Therefore the problematic of ekphraksis can not be reduced to a discussion filled with clichés on the visual and the lingual. Ekphrasis is not simply the description of what is seen, but first and foremost the possibility of that testimony. It is the narrative of a privileged subject who could visit great temples, palaces and passed time in treasures in Ancient Greece. The position of the subject here is derived from the right to testimony and is, therefore, inevitably dependent. In my opinion, this is the first theoretical problem the history of art must face. The second problem arises when testimony is put into words. Depiction is a speech addressed to the public, who can be defined as those lacking the opportunity to witness artistic riches. A depiction addressed to someone who has no right to testimony can no longer belong to its object either. It is about the mediation, communication of the object. Hence the depiction inevitably indicates its own truth. A speech on art becomes the self-approval of its lingual presence. Word strays two times the moment it’s uttered; first because of a privilege of testimony, secondly, because of mediation. This problem doesn’t only exist in Ancient Greece. Furthermore, it is quite difficult to know whether or not this existed as a problem at that time due to the fact that art and crafts were not exactly separated and arts was not attributed the definition as we know today. However, it wouldn’t be difficult to see that ekphrasis always exists in the subconscious of today’s art history, be it simple reviews on newspapers, catalog essays, general historical analyses or artistic analyses on specific field or eras. Art history, which has existed with and thanks to ekphrasis, is where art that exists as a production of privilege among those who have been supposed to be equal in social life (if we can temporarily define it as such), has left its own “idea”. “Describe exactly what you see!” Is it not the first rule of introduction to art history classes? This is the starting point of ekphrasis. “Describe the architecture correctly!” “Do not forget the directions!” “Learn the specific names of architectural elements and painting materials and name them with those!” “Distinguish typologies!” “Relate it to its era and style!” “You must
render the structure/painting/sculpture live in the mind of someone who hasn’t seen it!” Rendering a structure live in the mind of someone who hasn’t seen it! The art history student, who was loaded with the responsibility of testimony on the first day, is asked to be a Don Quixote attacking the wrong enemy. There is an approach to art history, despite its claim to fully cling to the truth, which orders dividing what isn’t divided, categorizing what isn’t categorized, classifying what isn’t classified, identifying, and straying the stray itself. The question is which ontology breeds the delusion of the art historian trying to understand its object working against art. I think this is kind of a historian’s metaphysics and therefore see the art historian as a subject between collection gatherers and rhetoricians. Ekphrasis is about hegemony and exception. Its boundaries go as far as the boundaries of politics do. Art history writing, which works with analogy, artist mythologies, stylization, grading, classification and similar methods, serves to reproduce our reception of art as “sublime” which is a continuation of the court tradition. Still passages can be found between what is seen and spoken. I want to remind, again, that this is not a problem between image and language. There are theoreticians and tendencies in traditional art history, which work against the problem of ekphrasis. Use of projection devices, attempts to build memory maps and classes held at the academia are direct results of this tendency. Associating works of art with one another, creating associations at the boundaries of imagination going beyond formal and stylistic cannons as well as cultural and social definitions, making interpretation part of the creative process are some methods which have been are still being tested. One can argue that there are always mechanisms in the artwork that work for the continuity of the existing regime, just like the lines of the flight in the art history which can potentially save it from the war machine for which it was built After all the social struggles and clashes of the 20th century, we contemporary art historians, at the beginning of the new century, see that people’s motivation to come together will be as strong as the social rupture. What I mean by “the idea of art” above, is the coming together of singularities potentially inherent in all avant-garde movements. Ekphrasis Trilogy from Kült Neşriyat Ekphrasis will be published in three volumes by
Kült Neşriyat, one of the most important outlets of avant-garde publications in Turkey. The first volume brings together exhibition articles and some reviews I have penned since 2005. The other two volumes subtitled “Individualization in Contemporary Art” comprise my essays on artists. The reader will immediately notice that these essays do not focus on exhibitions or analyses of works, but rather a problem brought about by art—which is generally philosophical— or the conceptual problem the exhibition presents. The first book comprises three parts. “Procrustes Anıtı” (The Temple of Procrustes) combines two texts written with a five-year gap and explaining each other in reverse order. “Karşı Sanat’ın Bir Genç Adam Olarak Portresi” (The Portrait of Anti-Art As a Young Man) contains aphorisms, which I didn’t include in my previous book Procrustes’in Yatağı (Procrustean Bed), because I thought they wouldn’t run along well. I see aphorisms or aphorismic thought as tools provided to us by nomadic thought in art history. The second part “Teşhirden Teşrihe” (From Exhibition to Dissection) contains articles, published in different magazines, on modernism and urban culture as well as those questionaing contemporary art’s position in relation to these two concepts. The last part “Proun Odası” (Proun Room) takes its title from a column I wrote for the Internet daily T24 in 2011. I wrote these articles at a time I left Turkey and they present my observations for a period of one year in Istanbul as an art historian trained in Ankara. They present a critical approach to contemporary art essay-writing’s flirtation with journalism and, contrary to my previous essays or articles, short and mostly polemical. However, this part is strangely related to Procrustes’in Yatağı, which I published in 2015. The articles in “Proun Room” offer the reader polemics with a refined narration compared to the aphorismic language of Procrustes’in Yatağı. Here I aim to clarify what the Procrustean bed—which is the dissection table of the art historian and where art is dissected, extended and shaped at will—means, how it works as much as I can. Naturally the first and reasonable question that comes to mind should be “How much do these writings go beyond the problem of ekphrasis or how much they are articulated to it?” This question hasn’t left me since 1997, when I started to publish my articles; I’ve been pondering on it for at least twenty years and will, most probably, do so for a long time to come.
D E S I G N PO R T R A I T.
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NANCY ATAKAN , SILENT SCREAM , 2001 / 2009 , 2 DIGITAL PRINTS ON PLEXIGLAS , 52 X 92 CM./34 X 60 CM.
atakan nancy Nancy Atakan extends her research from family archives to reconstruction of past moments and situations, employing a range of media including imagebased installations, photography, video, and neon. She defines her practice with the significant rupture of leaving painting in the early 1990s. This rupture was perhaps to set the tone for the series of experiments and slippery forms that became central to Nancyâ€™s questioning of the female body both in social and cultural contexts.
Words Merve Ünsal
Nancy and I first met through the artist initiative that she co-founded with Volkan Aslan, 5533, where I was to have my first solo exhibition in 2013. We have since been talking about many things—from what it means to found an initiative in the ever-fluctuating context of Istanbul to what it means to study art history alongside your artistic practice. Nancy’s work always remains timely and poignant, while her combination of conceptual investigations with personal experience and history point to a desire to relate herself to both art historical canon and knowledge production. As an artist, I obsess about the continuity, sustainability, and the “feel” of someone’s praxis. How do things happen? What do artists do? When does the doing begin? When does one stop doing? As I was reading an article on Miles Ahead (2015), a film on Miles Davis, Don Cheadle, the lead actor and the director of the film, mentioned that he chose to tell the story of Miles Davis through the story of the years when he didn’t do that much music, because it was more revealing of his true self. This thought immediately resonated as I was already thinking about Nancy Atakan’s decision to stop painting. Nancy stopped painting because she thought it was getting too comfortable. At that moment in an artist’s career when one finally settles in and matures with and through their practice, Nancy got uncomfortable. This was the early 90s. New forms of expression, both in the arts and in other media, were emerging and Nancy moved from painting into this other field, where she would deal with things without the formal tools that she was used to. Nancy’s constellations are linked by the act of making curiosity public. In other words, the seemingly disparate objects, images, concepts, temporalities are all driven by her gesture to treat them the same. Designed as a billboard in Dolmabahçe, What Something is Depends on What it is Not (2002) shows two men in military uniform. One is of Nancy’s father-in-law, who was serving in the military in Turkey in 1942 and the other is of Nancy’s father, serving in the military in the USA in 1942. The two men obviously belong to the same time, but their worlds are only linked through the serendipity of their children, who only met because these two men were able to return to respective homes safely. A diptych, a family portrait gone public, Nancy’s gesture of bringing these two photographs, predating her, pokes at what it means to be in the military—the real-life implications and ramifications that are often absent from recruitment videos. When Inside Feels Outside and Outside Feels Inside (2001) is about the simplicity of that feeling—everything feels alien and yet nothing is.
The innocuous swimming pool scene, split into two with a man on the right and a woman on the left, is not only a split between genders but also between our body and our perception of the outside. How can you inhabit your body and still be present? The violence of cutting of the heads from this image hints at an ominous, silent resilience that is possible to trace in Nancy’s works. I Believe/I Don’t Believe (2009) in which the artist counts evil eye beads, dropping them into a bucket sitting in the gallery space, a child’s game is subverted by the very act of Nancy’s chanting-like repetition. If you do something once or twice, it is playful. Dozens of times be-
comes threatening, invasive, transcending the boundary between the artist’s temporality and ours, reminding us of all the things that we feel like we need to do for things to be OK. What Nancy evokes is awareness—she doesn’t illustrate something, she is not narrating, she rather pulls you in and makes you sit there with her as she performs. Silent Scream (2001) is a photographic documentation of a gesture often gone undocumented. The often used “I wanted to scream,” becomes an iconic image of a woman on the beach, screaming supposedly. I say supposedly because there is neither sound nor a moving image. The diptych only points to the screaming; there is a before and an after and I don’t know which option is more threatening. Is it possible for they’re to remain the same after a scream? What precedes a scream? The lack of specificity in this work seems to echo the lack of specificity in feeling pain—after all, under our contemporary circumstances; it is hard to define what exactly
evokes the existential angst. Mirror Fetish (2013) is more like a fairytale. Nancy is sitting having her hair styled in a hair salon. This work is one of many in which she has worked with mirrors and the notion of aging. In Used To Be New (2009) she sits in the bathroom and applies creams to her face. Nothing changes. Wrinkles do not just disappear. In I Am Not Who You Say I Am (2009) she looks at her reflection and applies make up as she rejects photographs attached to the mirror to show that neither the description of who she should be as taught by others, nor the dogma of the church she grew up in, nor the beliefs behind the flag of the country where she was born, nor the beliefs of the place she adopted, nor the reflection of her physical being in a mirror, describe who she is. In Nancy’s most recent work Passing On II (2015), a silent video that shows women and girls who learn choreography in front of the camera, the female body is the subject. Passing On II (2015) is about women’s search for role models. “As women, who do we look up to?” is a question that Nancy asks often when she is speaking about her work. If we imitate the male, we are not being true to our “real” selves, after all. Passing On II is about her personal search for role models. The impulse to look at the generation above sets up the simple premise of the work: Nancy teaches to different women what she has learned from her gymnastic teacher. However, as viewers, we do not see the training but rather the results of the training. Women of different ages perform for a camera hung above the ground from a bird’s eye perspective. The gestures, when repeated by multiple bodies, become a connection between these individuals, whose individualities in performing the movements are already points of engagement with the viewers. This notion of passing on, thus becomes a point of differentiation—the community formed within the video is also what makes each of these women different from each other. The female protagonist of Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist (2001), who is grieving her late husband, exists through the bodily rituals she performs every day, preparing for a performance to come. The book ends ambiguously: She walked into the room and went to the window. She opened it. She threw the window open. She didn’t know why she did this. Then she knew. She wanted to feel the sea tang on her face and the flow of time in her body, to tell her who she was. This sense of ambiguous, vague ritualization of the everyday sums up what Nancy’s work evokes for me—she transforms the ordinary and the familiar into poetic gestures that we, as the viewers, can choose to collect and to mimic and her praxis hinges on this complicit, silent dialogue with the viewers.
NANCY ATAKAN, WHAT SOMETHING IS DEPENDS ON WHAT IT IS NOT , 2002 , 50X70 CM , 2 DIGITAL PRINT
on art, literature and hacking the BBC website
Tom McCarthy Tom McCarthy is not only a thrilling figure for the literary world, but also a truly exciting artist. Apart from his collaborative conceptual projects he is the “General Secretary” and co-founder of a semi-fictitious, avantgarde network called the International Necronautical Society which is meant to be a nod to all of the great manifesto-based avantgarde art movements, with the obscure aim of “mapping out” death. Does McCarthy see himself as an artist rather than a writer? Why was he fascinated by the idea of art manifestos as literary forms? Why does he have so many references to other writers in his art practice? Tom McCarthy talks to Elif Bereketli on his art projects, the unliterariness of the literary world, “radical un-originality” in art and his lesser known, unpublished novella about the Elmyr de Hory art forgery scandal.
INS GENERAL SECRETARY TOM MCCARTHY , LONDON , 6 DECEMBER 2003
Words Elif Bereketli Elif Bereketli: In the early noughties you wrote an art manifesto which then brought about your semi-fictitious art project International Necronautical Society, widely known as INS. But you constantly stress that INS is not an art project for you, but rather a literary one. Why were you fascinated by the idea of art manifestos as literary forms? Tom McCarty: The art manifesto is a great literary form. It’s bombastic, arrogant, funny, very earnest and utterly ridiculous, all at once. Look at Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. Does he believe all that stuff he’s spouting? He does, even as he celebrates its absurdity. It’s fascistic and revolutionary in the same breath. Also, the art manifesto belongs inseparably to an earlier period - the period of social upheaval around the early twentieth century; which makes it doubly interesting now, since it can only function in a dysfunctional way, as a form of dead media. EB: You were tackling the concept of “death” in your first manifesto. I
think death is the key to all of the concepts that you are covering both in your literature and art; it gives “authenticity”, it is never “repetitional”, it cannot be “doubled”… Would you agree? TMC: Death, in some people’s thinking, stands as the absolute, the degree-zero of authenticity. That’s what tragedy is all about: you seize your death heroically and become authentic in so doing. But in other writers, like Beckett or Blanchot, death is this thing that can never be seized or commanded: it’s a kind of neutral drifting that never quite arrives. Beckett’s characters want to hang themselves but realise that their trousers will fall down as they take their belts off. Blanchot literally misses the moment of his own death when he’s lined up in front of a Nazi firing squad who don’t go through with shooting him. I’m drawn to this comic, incomplete version of death - which is actually much darker than the tragic one. EB: INS revolves around a central committee of writers, artists and
INS BROADCASTIN UNITTRANSMISSION ROOM , ICA, LONDON , 8–14 APRIL 2004
philosophers organizing meetings, interrogations, essays, denunciations and proclamations... How does INS work? How do the projects emerge? TMC: It could be publications, or public ‘Hearings’ held in galleries, at which an INS committee interrogates cultural practitioners in front of the press; or it could be more covert interventions, like when we hacked the BBC website and inserted INS propaganda in its source code. Most recently we were given the entire ground floor of Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, as part of an exhibition about surveillance. All visitors were met by friendly INS staff dressed in t-shirts and trainers, and they had to sign a contract giving all ownership of their name to the INS (they would be allowed to continue using their name as a second-hand copy of the original which we’d own). 18,000 people signed over three months; 180 refused, and were evicted by security. EB: INS is purely conceptual and mostly obscure. Is it possible to say that the INS is a metaphor for something? TMC: No, it is what it is. It does what it says it does. At the same time, it’s pure metaphor - but not for anything else. EB: You once said in an interview that it was through your involvement with the art world that your first book Remainder got published. INS also played out through the art world. Can you say you are closer to the art world than you are to the literary world? TMC: I’m a writer; I grew up on literature; literature is my mode and passion. But I feel closer to the art world than the official ‘literary’ world as represented by the current agglomera-
tion of commercial publishers and bookstores, books pages in mainstream press, ‘literary’ festivals and so on. This world seems to me to in fact be a very un-literary place. To give an example: I’ve completely stopped going to books festivals. You’d think these would be places where you discuss literature and its history, its theoretical underpinnings and so on - but this is far from the case. Instead, all that seems to happen is banal, platitudinous chit-chat in which the entire field of writing is made subservient to the ‘personality’ of the author. If you believe, like me - or, for that matter, Blanchot, Kafka, Mallarmé and just about everyone else who’s addressed this question seriously - that literature begins precisely where the authority, and even identity, of the subject writing dissolves in front of language and the symbolic, collapses into abysses of ambiguity and so on; well, then it becomes impossible to talk about your own work, or anyone else’s, in these bland, humanist terms. EB: Do you think these bland, humanist terms are not dominant in the art world? TMC: By contrast, the art world and its arenas - magazines, biennials etc - think in a manner that seems much more informed by a genuine literary logic - and, of course, by psychoanalysis, philosophy, politics, and all the things you need to think writing in relation to. I often accept invitations to talk at biennials, because you can have a meaningful discussion about literature at the places. EB: You wrote a novella about the Elmyr de Hory art forgery scandal. What was so exciting about that scandal that made you write a book about it at the age of 22?
TMC: I’m fascinated by copies, the fake, the inauthentic - always have been. For Plato, this is where art and poetry begins. Remainder is all about trying to make a copy of the world, a copy that’s somehow more ‘authentic’ than the world itself, and the violence and absurdity of that project. Satin Island, too, is about a man who tries to map the whole world onto a kind of representational grid (that of anthropology), and completely fails. It’s not that the copy can’t match the original - rather, that the original is already made up of reproductions, mappings, fictions; in other words, it’s copies all the way down. EB: You created an art project around Cocteau’s Orphée, (ICA London, 2004) which was indebted to William S. Burroughs’ notions of viral media. You also had a piece, Black Box, (Moderna Museet Stockholm, 2008) where you compared T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land to a radio programme. Your works are full of references to others. Is this an attempt to underline the “inauthenticity” of your work? TMC: I think all artists’ and writers’ work is indebted to others. Not only does Shakespeare imitate Ovid, but he self-consciously flags this up so that you can’t ignore it. Or think of Cervantes having the barber and priest go through Quixote’s library, so they can see which novels he’s re-enacting in his delirium. I try to accede to that level of radical un-originality too. To use a radio metaphor: to write is not to originate a signal, but rather to remix a hundred other signals that themselves are already remixes. In the beginning was repetition. Amen.
The world and Aleppo in extenso with Philip Mansel Words Hande Eagle
Known for his books on France and the Middle East, British historian Philip Mansel’s new title, Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Greatest Merchant City was published in the UK by I.B. Tauris in March. In this new issue of Art Unlimited that heralds the arrival of summer, we are publishing Hande Eagle’s extensive interview with Philip Mansel.
Hande Eagle: I would like to start off by asking you about your personal interest in Aleppo. What prompted you to write a book on Aleppo? Philip Mansel: Aleppo was the first Arab city I ever saw in 1969 when I was still eighteen. And I really loved it, especially, like all travellers, the souk. Then a family, that was restoring its house, the Gazaleh family, suggested I do something on Aleppo. One thing led to another, and led to this book. And also it’s not just my personal interest in Aleppo. Since my first visit to Aleppo in 1969, I went there six or seven times. I went in 1970, 1971 and 2003, 2004 and 2005 I think. I went to a conference at the University of Aleppo. It’s a general question which I am trying to answer in two previous books, Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire 14531924 [John Murray, London, 1995] and Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean [John Murray, London, 2011]. How do you get different races and religions to live together in the same city? That’s what I was trying to answer in my book, Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Greatest Merchant City. H.E: What kind of differences are there between the time of your last visit to Aleppo and now? P.M: It was great. It appeared completely peaceful, other people remember this also. Around the citadel, there were cafes open at night and it was sort of booming because there was a UNESCO project to restore the old city. There were more hotels every year, tourism was increasing, factories were being built, it was doing well. Much better than under Hafez al-Assad who had rather neglected the city. H.E: When did you begin your research for your new book on Aleppo? P.M: I began about 2011, but I was doing lots of other things at the same time. I was just reading everything I could about Aleppo. Admitting living in London, there is Aleppo in London. There are also lots of people from Aleppo living and working in London now. H.E: In the book you provide quite a thorough his-
tory of the city, taking us from Aleppo as an Ottoman city to becoming a French mandate, independence, and being ruled by the Assads, through to our bitter day. Which were some of your initial sources when you started archiving information for the book? P.M: There are about six or seven books, mainly by American scholars who had been through the actual legal archives of the city in the Ottoman period. There’s one called, The Kin Who Count: Family and Society in Ottoman Aleppo 1770 – 1840 [Margaret L. Meriwether, University of Texas Press, 1999]. Another one is co-edited by Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman and Bruce Masters and titled The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir and Istanbul [Cambridge University Press, 1999]. Furthermore, Heghnar Hatenpaugh’s works on Aleppo were also very important to me. These secondary sources were very, very thorough and I read all of them…. Another source was these fabulous travellers’ accounts because Aleppo was so much on the scene and accessible and on trade routes that there must be a hundred travellers’ accounts or more. They’ve been gathered in an amazing book titled, Alep dans la litterature de voyage Európeenne pendant la période Ottomane 1516 – 1918 [Olivier Salmon, Aleppo in the European Travel Literature during the Ottoman period] which was published in Aleppo in 2011, just before the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. A lot of consular records have been published, there is no lack of information. H.E: How did you decide which travellers’ accounts to include in your book? P.M: It was very difficult but I wanted to choose ones that were in English so they are accessible to readers. I wanted to choose ones from different periods right through from the 1570s to the 1900s. I wanted not just to have very famous ones, like Gertrude Bell or Alexander Russell but also quite unknown ones like Francis Newman and John Fuller, which really are not known at all. Sometimes they were privately printed. But there is a real embarrassment of riches, you could have oth-
er travel accounts by different people. So many people went to Aleppo and wrote about it. H.E: There are quite a few instances in the book when, as a reader, I felt that the question of whether history repeats itself was being answered for me. For example, on page 25 you wrote, “d’Arvieux, who had travelled throughout the Empire wrote: ‘What is good and extraordinary and which advantageously distinguishes this people from all those of the Ottoman Empire is that they are the gentlest, the least malicious and the most tractable of all this vast empire.’” And further on, on page 35, you quoted Yusuf al-Halabi regarding another war breaking out between the Ottoman Empire and Russia, “There is no longer a leading figure in Aleppo capable of imposing his will.” It always seems that those who are kind and polite are always the ones to suffer. Could you please share your views on this? P.M: Yes, I agree with you. I think it’s an absolute tragedy. I don’t think the present violence comes from inside the city, it’s more from outside forces, other religious groups or governments. I think cities can function quite well, even if the people are from different religions. By definition, people in a city need each other or they wouldn’t be living there. It’s these terrible tragedies of the 21st century, the tragedy of fundamentalist Islam, of dictatorial governments like President Assad’s, and of course, Russia wanting to reassert itself and Turkey interfering under Erdoğan. I mean Aleppo doesn’t really have a chance under these forces that are destroying and manipulating people in the city. H.E: What do you think about the role of Europe in all of this? P.M: In the past, as I tried to show, European consuls were constantly intervening as peace-makers between the Ottoman government and rebels, or between dif different groups. But, Europe now… I don’t think it has any role to play except humanitarian intervention and helping with refugee camps or food and medical help,
A COSTUME BALL AT THE CLUB D’ALEP , 1952, FORMERLY A GHAZELEH HOUSE , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS
as some wonderful charities like Syria Relief are doing. Everything should be done to help refugees and to work through the United Nations or Arab bodies to defuse the situation in Syria. It can’t be foreign Western powers intervening on their own initiative. That led to catastrophe in Iraq and Libya. It doesn’t work. H.E: As you know Europe is currently doing everything in its power not to take more responsibility or more immigrants. P.M: But, it has taken in a lot. H.E: Well, not compared to Turkey’s three million… P.M: Yes, it’s not as much as Turkey, or Jordan or Lebanon. I know, I know. H.E: As you know, the European Union has currently come to an agreement to pay Turkey 3 billion to keep the Syrian refugees in Turkey, and there is talk of Turkey receiving another 3 billion in 2018 if all goes according to plan. P.M: I don’t know. I think the best thing possible is if eventually the refugees can go back to Syria rather than Syria being deprived of its own people. Usually UN policy is to try and keep them near the place they fled from. But obviously their physical well-being is the priority. Some people will always want to live in Europe. I mean Aleppo people have been living in Europe since the 18th century. Ah, it’s an insoluble tragedy. H.E: Another quote I find poignant is a quote by Israeli rabbi and author Haim Sabato on page 25: “According to the etiquette of Aleppo, you are not asked why you have come and you do not say why you have come. Everything must be explained by way of allusion.” What are your views on how Syrians are currently being treated in Europe? P.M: I think it varies from country to country, city to city. I am amazed how charitable the Greeks are being to Syrian refugees when they have their own catastrophic economic problems. I admire that very much.
I think Germany has absorbed a lot. And eventually, the children will start going to school as they are doing in Turkey and Lebanon. Eventually a lot of Syrians will become German or even Greek or Italian. I think in the current economic crisis we mustn’t blame governments too much. Everybody should try and work together in their own way to try and help the refugees. H.E: A minute ago you said that eventually the Syrian children going to school in different countries will take on the nationality of those countries. What do you think about the cultural assimilation that is taking place? Do you think Syrian culture will be erased? P.M: I think it can be very strong. There are quite a lot of Syrian Christians in Sweden. They have remained there for 30 or 40 years, and remain quite Syrian. As many Turks in Germany remain quite Turkish and indeed in London. Hopefully a lot of them will go back to Aleppo, a city they love, or Damascus and be able to remain Syrian. I don’t think it will be erased. Exiles can preserve their own culture better even than those at home, in some circumstances. There are already Syrian Christian churches in London, Paris, Stockholm. Many Syrian Muslims have moved to London. I have met many of them, they have started businesses and are adapting to life. Indeed, President Assad used to be a Londoner. People adapt in different ways. H.E: To what extent do you think religion plays a role in today’s world? P.M: It’s clear that a lot of Muslim countries and groups have failed to modernize or to adapt to the 21st century. There is a vast struggle between different groups from Mauritania to Malaysia, we see it every day. Some people have adapted. Clearly the retrogression of some Muslim groups is one major factor. Another factor is the role of the Alawis in Syria and the Syrian government. It’s obvious that religious extremism is decomposing Syria which is not an artificial country. There’s always been a feeling of being Syrian,
it’s different from being Anatolian, Iraqi or Egyptian. Maybe its boundaries are artificial but not the country itself. H.E: Do you think that the “culture of otherness” has made us enemies to each other without us noticing it? It feels like most people in Europe feel as if the Middle East has always been a war zone. However, as you so aptly prove in Aleppo, it wasn’t so. In Part II, where you provide a vast selection of writings from foreign travellers, John Fuller states (p. 157): “Smoking is almost universally practised by the Aleppine ladies and the greatest compliment that they can pay you is to transfer the pipe from their own lips to yours.” Surely, no one in this day and age knows how open, unreserved and free Syrian women were in the past… How do you think this transformation of perception took place? P.M: I think it’s partly due to ignorance and spending less time on travels to Syria. Those ladies were Jewish or Christian ladies, not Muslim. There is a culture of otherness but it’s not universal. Some Syrians can adapt very easily to other countries and of course, the Middle East hasn’t always been a war zone. And in fact, one of the travellers’ accounts I quote talks about perfect freedom of conscience in Aleppo. That’s in the late 16th century when there was little freedom of conscience in Europe. In the 20th century, the Middle East had a better time during the Second World War than Europe in some ways. There was a great effort in Syria in the 40s and 50s, in the early years of independence, not to be sectarian. To build churches and mosques even in the same district, quite close to each other. I think it’s all recent events, the last 30 or 40 years. Of course, because we have grown up in democracies we can’t understand the impact of dictatorships or autocratic regimes like those Syria and Iraq have known. That does decompose and make a society more fragile, which may have worked well beforehand. H.E: You lived in Istanbul for a period, didn’t
PANORAMA OF ALEPPO WITH THE CITADEL IN THE BACKGROUND , c.1940 , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS
you? P.M: In Istanbul and Beirut. Longer even in Beirut. H.E: When was the last time you visited Istanbul? P.M: I go every year more or less but only on short visits. I lived there for half a year between 2006 and 2009. H.E: What kind of changes have you noticed in Istanbul over the last 15 years? P.M: Well, two changes. It’s losing its character, it’s becoming a big modern business city like every other, with the same chain stores and chain cafes. It’s becoming more similar and of course, it’s becoming more religious also. The sound of the muezzin at night gets louder, it seems to me. The Ramadan drums get louder. Many of my Turkish friends complain, many of my Turkish friends don’t want their children to stay in Turkey. H.E: I would like for us to talk about the recent attacks in Ankara and Istanbul, and generally about how you think countries should deal with the rise of terrorism. P.M: If possible, not by wars or invading other countries or bombing cities but by using intelligence networks and maintaining as far as possible civil society, the rule of law and not treating all groups as suspicious. Eventually terrorism can blow itself out, as happened in Northern Ireland. People get tired. As long as the society and the state apparatus don’t overreact, I think time is on their side. But of course, it depends also on the political leadership of the Kurds and other groups. H.E: On page 65, you wrote: “The contrast between Aleppo’s past and its current catastrophe is a warning to other cities. Even the most peaceful cities are fragile. States and religions are killing Aleppo. People and monuments are dying. Satellite imagery shows there are now almost no lights at night in the city. In the twenty-first century, Aleppo has entered its dark ages.” Well, we have seen how true your statement is with regard to even the most peaceful
cities being fragile time and time over again in even just the last couple of years. When do you think the “switch flipped” when it comes to religions killing Aleppo? As you exemplify repeatedly Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in the city in harmony for years… P.M: Yes, many Aleppo people have told me from their childhood, their schools, from their social life visiting other families about the fact that different groups of people lived in Aleppo in harmony. I think it flipped with the Assad regime of forty years, a ruthless regime. There was considerable repression in the 1980s when there was a massacre by Islamic militants of Alawi military cadets in Aleppo. The cumulative ef effect of dictatorship is, I would have said, the main catalyst. What appeared to be ruthless secularism, trying to impose secularism, and you know, children used to go to school in military uniforms. Because we have grown up in more liberal societies it is very hard for us to understand how that affects societies, families, individuals and relationships. The ubiquity of the secret police, for example. H.E: To what extent can we blame our current situation on capitalism, the Industrial Revolution, and the proliferation of human greed? P.M: Well I don’t think human greed is due to just capitalism or the Industrial Revolution. It existed in the 16th century also. Capitalism can defuse conflict and violence if everybody is becoming more prosperous, even if at different rates. I think the current situation is due to a failure of modernisation in Muslim countries, the dictatorships and Erdoğan’s Turkey is becoming increasingly authoritarian and interventionist in Syria. I think it’s those circumstances, more than capitalism itself, which have created the situation. The souk in Aleppo, the great and marvellous souk of 12 km of streets was a great place for making money and accumulating capital. It brought people together rather than the reverse.
H.E: I recently read that the world population will exceed 9 billion by 2050 and that we will need 60% more arable land to be able to meet the demand for food. P.M: One of the great problems in Syria was the fact that the countryside felt disadvantaged compared to the cities… The desertification and the dams of the Euphrates interrupting the economy… It’s a huge and very, very important problem. Obviously we have got to have birth control. H.E: How do you think they should go about that in the Middle East? P.M: [Gamal Abdel] Nasser’s government tried to enforce it in Egypt. Years of propaganda encouraging smaller families. It didn’t work. It’s got to come from within people. H.E: So, that needs to come through education obviously… P.M: The Shah’s government tried to have a family planning programme in Iran. I think it was quite successful for a time, but the Khomeini Revolution [The Iranian Revolution of 1979] destroyed that. H.E: Several quotes from Alexander Russell in Aleppo portray Kurds as “plunderers” or “dangerous people” no one dared defy (pp: 20, 35), comparable with current-day ISIL I would say. To what extent would you say the perceptions of foreigners on foreign cultures affect the way those cultures develop? P.M: I don’t think they really affect the way those cultures develop. Alexander Russell was in fact translated into Arabic a few years ago, but nobody really read him in Syria. I think the best of these travellers are quite good observers and that’s the limit of their influence. H.E: After the attacks in Paris and Brussels most people in Europe are alarmed and scared. I think this is causing a certain sense of Islamophobia and racism. The way Europeans are perceiving Muslims or people from Muslim countries has changed be-
GREEK CATHOLIC PRIESTS WITH MEMBERS OF THE GHAZELEH FAMILY , c.1934 , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS RUE BARON , BRITISH TROOPS , c.1942 , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS SALON MARCOPOLI , c.1900 , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS A HORSE AND ITS OWNER , OUTSIDE ALEPPO , c.1940 , COLLECTION OF MAY GAZALE SIKIAS
cause of the recent events. P.M: Yes, that’s all true. I agree, the perception has changed because of actual events just as the Kurds outside of Aleppo were able to be unruly because the central authority was weakening. And these recent events are very, very dangerous. They are certainly polarizing society. It takes a very long time for new groups to assimilate. Greeks arrived in London in the 1820s, some have never totally assimilated and they didn’t start marrying English, non-Orthodox partners until about a hundred years later. There are examples of successful assimilation in France, so let’s hope they continue. For example, I am now doing a life of Louis XIV and some of the books on him are by people with Arabic names, assimilated Algerians. H.E: How do you think the current situation will affect the way in which Muslims in Europe behave towards their European and Christian countrymen? P.M: Yes, well that’s a very important question. I think they behave in a thousand different ways. Many withdraw into themselves. I have to talked to many Muslim friends about this in London. Many international offices carry on exactly as before. Instead of em-
bracing the country which has received them and given them a place to live, obviously they didn’t want to go on living in their own countries, however, many Muslims are retreating and withdrawing into far increased observation of Muslim traditions than their own parents or grandparents. It will be interesting to see what happens. There haven’t been many anti-ISIL demonstrations in London or Paris. Not that I have heard of. H.E: Given all that you have researched and written on Aleppo, once a great city and now abandoned and destroyed, do you think that Istanbul could one day end up in the same boat? Especially after the attack near Taksim Square on 19 March… P.M: Let’s hope not. When I wrote Constantinople in the early 1990s I thought that possibly (you know, the time of confrontation with the PKK) there would be explosions and violence in Istanbul but it didn’t happen then. Or, only on a very small scale. Let’s hope the same thing continues. It will depend on the political leadership of the Kurdish groups, the Turkish government and on their willingness to defuse the situation. Of course also on personal reactions and behaviour. Many Kurds are perfectly at peace in Turkey and there
are many Turkish-Kurdish marriages. But anything is possible. There was, of course, a very dangerous situation in Istanbul in the 1970s but that was between dif different Turkish political groups… Any city is vulnerable, it depends on the cleverness and effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies; the police, the army, the intelligence services… And of course on the violence and efficiency of violent opposition groups. H.E: How efficient would you say the Turkish police is when you consider the events of the last few months? P.M: Yes, it’s record isn’t brilliant. The explosions in Ankara, in the capital city… H.E: A lot of people are concerned about Turkey’s unity. It feels like the strategy of divide and conquer is being implemented to a great extent. P.M: I very much hope that it stays the same in the current boundaries. If I was a Turkish Kurd, I would far rather live in Turkey, which has such an economic success and has a system that works rather than risk my chances in the Kurdish Republic like in Northern Iraq or north-east Syria. Wouldn’t you?
UNLIMITED VISITS 2; Cihangir
Ali Kazma’s studio
Words Nazlı Pektaş Photo Elif Kahveci
Ali Kazma gathers via his camera the footprint of meaning from amongst earth’s voices, colors, and movements. While all independent entities exist in their own rhythms; Ali releases the tension, and the harmony between order and disorder into the void in the course of time. At Ali’s studio home, we read between the lines where he pursued the meaning. Ali Kazma’s studio in Cihangir; a bright lit, peaceful artist’s home, full of books, smelling of coffee. I sit on the 45-year-old sofa, designed by his architect mother Meral, in the uncluttered living room of this home studio, with linen curtains. Ali’s mother designed this sofa when she got married to his father Tuncel, for their first home. I start watching the studio beginning with the sofa… For someone like me, who loves plenty of objects, being in an uncluttered, calm space does good to my weary eyes. Everything here is positioned in a successive order. Books, tapes of his films, the writings on them, family pictures, flowers, toys, artworks, Ali’s photographs, large and small objects… None of them is at fault in respecting each other’s living space. In a buffet with glass doors purchased from Çukurcuma, he puts books written by friends that he loves, changing their location from time to time. On top of the buffet are cars that he purchased from Clignancourt flea market around Paris, and some flowers enjoying the plenty of sun entering the room. There are other plants as well; this is a home abundantly green. The dining table is a broad surface for the books to lie around. For our visit, Ali took out one of his favorite books, Jean Genet’s The Studio Of Giacometti from the buf buffet. Studios are the places preserving the breath of the thoughts of artists. Leafing through the book, we talk about Giacometti’s humble studio in Montparnasse… Ali has created himself corners around the two-bedroom flat to reflect, produce, sleep, and read. Beyond being a personal activity, reading for Ali Kazma is a cocoon feeding his production. And yet he has transformed a secret corner in the flat, adjacent to the kitchen, and overlooking the backyard (most probably used as a cellar by previous owners) into a reading space. Here I observe a reading chair again designed by his mother. This little space must be a shelter to read and to produce. Ali tells me “he never splits production and life apart”. ””. Since he doesn’t separate his living and working spaces, “I don’t realize the time passing passing,” he adds. When did the montage start? When did it finish? When was the next seed spread? Wandering through the books, I think to myself, this
studio home must be a reflection cocoon for an artist like Ali who works with images, films them, and then engraves labor into reality by sewing them through montage. We then look together through Adam Sharr’s book “Heidegger’s Hut”. The book depicts Heidegger’s cottage in the Black Forest Mountains in southern Germany where he was writing. Heidegger is a philosopher Ali reads at times. Ali likes to keep the books he often reads by his side. Biographies, autobiographies, books on film… This well-lit, bright home is full of lines shaping, nurturing Ali Kazma’s power of thought, and production rhythm. To read to produce, to better read to produce even more… He tells me he keeps a Borges by his side while working on montage, in order to read during breaks. He explains: ““the economy in Borges’ usage of language; his opening of the world with a few, –and that is magnificentone or two proses, helps me to ground my relationship with the material on a minimalist base.”” Ali is an artist taking notes while reading, and looking back at them over and over again; making the moments of writing of the books his own, weaving the memory of what he reads with his own, and transferring this experience to his production. As I said, reading is not an activity for Ali. It is a life form, or the raw material for production. Cinematographers are as significant to Ali as are writers. “I feel so close to some writers as well as cinematographers. One of them is the French director Robert Bresson,” he says talking about the books on film. He adds: “To me he is almost like the saint of cinema!” Here is a quiet, white place, colored by the various tones of the books, the sun, the chair, the flowers, and enlivened by various objects. Time flies here accompanied by solstice, with the sun filling and emptying the place up with its light. While reading, writing, and thinking in this home studio, Ali Kazma works accompanied by small and large images of what is in his mind and memories. Let us recall the Timemaker exhibition at Arter last year. The exhibition was projecting the ever-increasing forms of being between the “me” world and the other. Last year, I wrote in Cumhuriyet newspaper an article on
UNLIMITED VISITS 2; Cihangir
this exhibition: “The art of video; a medium that exhibits various kinds of illusions with the unlimited opportunities technology provides, that gets closer to cinema with its fiction, nears documentary with the data it emits to time, and snuggles with contemporary art with the multi-layered readings it does. Ali Kazma is an artist head-to-head with his camera in this medium. His videos/films do not necessarily need a description. Often times they are concerned with neither a narrative fiction nor intent to be a source of information. On the other hand, Ali Kazma is an artist keeping a montage journal, rigorously splitting the moments he recorded into pieces, and re-piecing them together, while doing all of this by himself.” I remember my article as Ali shows us his montage journals. The order embracing the whole of the studio is also the identity of these journals. The notes taken in seconds during montage leave us with spaces of meanings that we stare at for minutes thanks to his attention and thoroughness. In time these journals turn into code maps of the places he recorded made up of writings and numbers. As a result of this uninterrupted labor, Ali shows us the places/the people, sincerely requesting our understanding. Works by his friend artists like Füsun Onur, Alev Ebüzziya, İnci Eviner, Guillermo Arizta, İnci Furni cover the walls and the racks of this cocoon home, as well as works about Ali’s production. The image of Ali’s production language, altering in form in photography shows itself on the white walls. The little toys standing on the hinges of the removed living room doors catch the attention of our editor Merve. These hidden model figures continuously record the study, the living room, the corridor, and the kitchen acting as a birds-eye observation vehicle thrown to Ali’s own space as an artist thinking, working, and producing on spaces, and the bodies within. Ali who makes his production about life and the fields of life producing meaning; while exhibiting different individuals in most of his films, produces inter-nurturing, inter-causing series that do not rank these individuals. If exhibiting the link and the continuity between different lives is his action, watching is an action he requests from the viewer. This studio home in Cihangir keeps secrets about what we will be watching in the future. Who knows, maybe the guests of the door hinges have already watched his new works.
“I feel so close to some writers as well as cinematographers. One of them is the French director Robert Bresson. To me he is almost like the saint of cinema!”
UNLIMITED VISITS 2; Cihangir
UNLIMITED VISITS 2; Cihangir
Books of a century:
“First get them to see it, then…” Portakal Art and Culture House attained its centenary in 2014. In December 2015, four books were published on this wise: Duveen | The Story of the Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time, Vollard | Recollections of a Picture Dealer, Raffi Portakal | A Portakal Century, and Osman Hamdi Bey | Impressions 1859-1885. Bülent Erkmen designed all of the four books. I am tagged as editor in all of the books. As the publicity of the books coming out as a result of a long running, tortuous journey is over, and the content is being discussed, I met Bülent Erkmen on the 1st of April 2016, to talk about the process of “word becoming a book, and making a permanent impression” as Raffi Portakal says in the foreword. Words Ezgi Arıduru Photo Özgür Can Akbaş
Portakal Art and Culture House attained its centenary in 2014. In December 2015, four books were published on this wise: Duveen | The Story of the Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time, Vollard | Recollections of a Picture Dealer, Raffi Portakal | A Portakal Century, and Osman Hamdi Bey | Impressions 1859-1885. Bülent Erkmen designed all of the four books. I am tagged as editor in all of the books. As the publicity of the books coming out as a result of a long running, tortuous journey is over, and the content is being discussed, I met Bülent Erkmen on the 1st of April 2016, to talk about the process of “word becoming a book, and making a permanent impression” as
Raffi Portakal says in the foreword. Going up the stairs, I get excited as usual before leading to the space with Erkmen’s long table full of curious things. Bülent Erkmen is enthusiastic. He makes us sit across his seat at the table where ideas were developed, altered yet certainly materialized, crystalized during the days we worked for the books. Serving ourselves coffee at the intact service setup, placed in a critical location in his room, we speak of our agenda, and what my thoughts about this article are. I start recording, Erkmen sits at the table, and starts to explain: “The problem here was this…” Here, I’d like to stop, and go back
three years. My phone is ringing several hours before our meeting at PORTAKAL, and Mr Erkmen asks me to bring an easel, or a board to the meeting room, and tells me he brings something to show us. That day we meet with the quadrangles. They have a magical ef effect. We see a presentation of black on white, quadrangles, all of them in dif different shapes, printed big in a narrow long format where the books will later fit. Mr Erkmen keeps explaining: “All of the quadrangles are in different shapes. They represent the four generations with their four sides. A careful eye may also detect that this quadrangle form will appear as a square in some occasi-
ons…” The quadrangles, which we didn’t know where or how, would be applied; become the first concrete points of the on going Portakal Centenary project. They are certainly not used on the covers of the four books in vain. Portakal Centenary project was distilled; “We ended up with three books on art dealers. Which created a great co-occurrence. The fourth book Impressions, although it didn’t fit this togetherness, joined the project due to the quality of the content, and the work. Also, because we wanted to have one more than three books, so this state of celebrating with four books occurred by itself.” He summarized the process. When
there are fewer prints, and their limits narrowed, he thinks you need to visually load: “You need to load in the sense of focusing; it means that you need to make the appearance of the four books, a ‘symbol’ of this work. My intent was to make this sign one to focus on, to draw attention to.” “There was only one sign” he says and shows us the quadrangles sitting on the 5x5 matrix on a sheet of paper he picks. “To create a texture in the end; a process texture, a centenary texture. Whatever you call it. But to create a self-proclaimed texture. That texture is playful. He tells me about his technique; how the sides keep on creating new quadrangles in
a 5x5 matrix. A simple algorithm, a huge result! To have mathematics sit on the centre of the design. The word ‘playful’ keeps on whirling inside my head. How it so clearly yet easily depicts the fluctuation, the cheerfulness of the 2 dimensional shapes when they come side by side on a sheet. “I like to play with squares” he says. “I did trials. Versions with 12 squares, and then 16 squares…” At last, the version with 18 squares that we observe on the covers. None of the covers consisting of 18 columns and 31 rows are identical: “It is very hard to understand, but the beginnings are always different, and therefore the flow is different.” We keep
observing this playfulness on the inside of the covers. The squares on the inside of the covers, thought to be the reflections of the squares on the covers, creating a transparent feeling, are different from each other in all of the four books, also from their respective ones on the covers. The quadrangles formed inside the matrices, do not touch each other; while the distance between them is equivalent, it was possible to create independent spaces, and to define each of them by their own. Hence, the other elements on the cover: the title, the author’s name, the publisher logo were all placed inside this space. Erkmen tells me the
quadrangles gently evolve into the cover, and keep telling about the elements of the cover: “On the title space, the name is written in bold of the serif font inside the book; the name of the subject related to that is written with the regular font, while the author’s name is written with a sans serif font, and in female.” The texture of the front cover is repeated on the back. In the middle of the book, on the vertical, the barcode, the Portakal Centenary logo, and the PORTAKAL logo are situated in this order. The sign of the existence reason of these four books was standardly observed in the back of these books. In fact there is a very delicate strategy here. We put the
signs of ownership in the back. By putting the Portakal Centenary on the back, we put the content of the books upfront. By reducing the commitment, we got to control the expectation.” We slowly dive inside the books: “On the inside, the visuals and the scripts were not on the same page. Photographs and paintings owned their own spaces, were displayed in their own pages, by their own.” The needs of the book is dif different in Impressions. Although very dif different in structure, this book was confined to the other three’s format. To me it was like the book design equivalent of Lars Von Trier’s Five Obstructions. “The reason it was accepted is this,” said Erkmen: “My intention was to apply these notebooks one on one. The dimension of the notebooks allowed this to occur. The notebooks fitted in the books. I wanted the notebooks to be photographed with their tears, dirt, and volume. The middle of the notebooks was also the middle of the book. Thus the pages of the notebooks were opened with the pages of the book. By looking at the book, we also looked at the notebooks. We looked at the notebooks along with the book. It was very convenient thanks to the dimension of the books. It became a book that contained the notebooks, a book that showed you the notebooks as well. In that sense, the pages of the notebooks, and the review had to
function together. What was done? The material that the writer wanted to be shown with the text was absorbed into the text.” A Portakal Century differentiates itself in terms of the internal layout: “In this book made out of interviews from beginning to end, I wanted to do something different. The book is made out of dual conversations. The writer’s assessments come in between but apart from that the book is made of dialogues and sometimes trialogues. I wanted to get away from the traditional interview form. In the end this is not a magazine, but a 500-page book. It is crucial that the feeling and the look of book be created for continuity. There must be no cuts, no name indicators. No RP’s, nor EB’s.” He took the effect of alienation out of the book by removing these. The two owners of the dialogue have different starts of line on a page. On the lower corner of the page, the owner of these starts of line are almost noted in the repeating title line: “In general, I put the writer to the top. Second was the main speaker. The less speaker to the end; the space is tight there as well. This is a little game in itself but one that you will get used to in time. Thanks to this, the book can be read without any cuts.” In the whole book there is also the differentiation created by the use of serif and sans serif fonts. In all the books, the
parts defined by Erkmen as the “main elements” of the book, such as the tags, and the main titles were written in sans serif fonts, whereas “textual elements” were written in serif fonts: “In A Portakal Century, in the dialogues, a serif font was used. The introductions and the section titles written by the writer are in sans serif font. The documental texts in the end of the book were written in sans serif as well. We used both columns, and a light colour was given to the background to easily differentiate. The section titles were in sans serif.” With this structure, Erkmen’s design leads the way in terms of what can be combined with what; it helps the reader realize at first sight with how many different materials the book is made out of. A Portakal Century, (just like in Impressions), is
a very “legible” book. As it gets easier to distinguish the different elements of the book, different reading forms, orders, and approaches can be developed. We keep on moving rapidly yet in full. The subjects that I had already known, but finally had a good grasp of the idea behind spread around like the smell of ground coffee. Beyond the Portakal Centenary books, I must ask the question: “How does Bülent Erkmen think of the book?” One of my favourite stories when working on the A Portakal Century, was an answer provided by Aret Portakal to a customer asking about his artifice: “I know how to listen to the antiques, they only speak to whomever will understand them” said Aret Portakal. Is it a coincidence that Erkmen does the same analogy talking
about the design process of the book? “The book is alive for me, and it has some requests from the its designer. It cannot speak, yet it had some desires. You need to show concern for it so that you can understand what it desires. I try to resolve its requests along with mine. I don’t rule out my own requests either. It is a mutual transaction. I require, it requires; I require again depending on the situation. It replies. It has to reply positively, if not something that does not function or fit in that situation is not right. It becomes just an ornament.” The book is not just about the material, and the designer; there is also the owner of the work: “That is a delicate point. I can rule out the owner of the work from time to time. I might want to rule out the owner from time to time.
Because, the owner of the work is focusing/had always focused on one spot due to his/her expertise or concentration on his/her work. That single-focus might create dependencies, or addictions on the level of form. Because when writing, we dream of a form naturally. In general, writers dream of forms they are used to, that they know of as books. I get in conflict with the writer in general. I try to do something despite the writer, because that conflict, that transaction with the writer takes the work to a dif different level. It might pull me down from time to time, but it definitely takes the level of the work up. That level is usually one that is beyond what the writer can dream of. I
Being queer in the 80s (1)
Words Serdar Soydan
Defending LGBTI rights, the Black Pink Triangle Association of Izmir carried out an unprecedented project in February 2012: Being Queer in the 80s was an oral history project which was soon published as a book with the support of the Global Dialogue Foundation. Carrying the same name with the project the book featured testimonies of nine trans women who have lived those years and are still alive today. By discussing the 80s, mostly the post-coup period, over the experiences and thoughts of a group of queer people, the book soon took its deserved place in literature and attracted a lot of attention in so much that, in less than a year Ufuk Tan Altunkaya dramatized the book as a theater play which was staged at Mekan Artı. Thanks to the great interest coming from the public, the play is still running in its third season. Since trans women are the focal point of the book and the play Being Queer in the 80s, there are no references to some of the events and developments regarding gays and lesbians. This series of articles aim to make up for this and to take a look at what had happened in those years by running through the newspapers and magazines of the era rather than personal histories of individuals. I will do my best to list these events and developments chronologically and elaborate them with testimonies in news stories and newspaper clippings.
1. Banishment to Eskişehir There are similar stories in many newspapers published on April 28, 1981: Upon realizing that they will be forced out of Istanbul by the police, 20 homosexuals who work in bars and night clubs threw themselves from the stairs of the general directorate of security building. Screaming and hurling their shoes and and handbags, they caused panic among the citizens who were waiting in line to receive their passports. However police officers took the situation under control in a short time and the homosexuals were sent to Eskişehir by train under police supervision. (Milliyet) This was the banishment to Eskişehir, which Belgin and N.K. mentioned in their testimonies in Being Queer in the 80s… We don’t know the duration of these banishments and how many were forced out of the city. Browsing the newspapers of the time I could only find reports about the incident on April 28. However based on N.K.’s words, “They put us in a train at Haydarpaşa. It was winter, snowing. On the way to Bolu Mountain, in a valley between two mountains they let us off the train. It was snowing, in the middle of the night. We found our way to the main street under the snow light. They left us to dead at a mountain” we can presume that banishment was not a one-time event but went on
at least from the winter of 80/81 until spring. Unfortunately, banishing unwanted, unsettling minorities for one reason or another, and sometimes even without a reason is a form of oppression we see all over the world throughout history. As of the early eighties we frequently see events where queer people were forced to leave cities or ghettos. In a news story entitled “Police wages war on homosexuals in Izmir” which was published in Cumhuriyet on July 25th, 1985, Izmir Police Department’s public security assistant branch manager Emin Körpe says “In Izmir there is no room for those people who are the source of all kinds of diseases.” It was the first years of AIDS panic in Turkey and this time the justification for banishment and marginalization was spreading diseases. (Certainly in the coming chapters we will be covering how Turkey first met with the HIV virus and saw trans individuals and homosexuals as potential carriers just like the rest of the world because of a homophobic and transphobic campaign.) At the end of the eighties, the clearing off of the trans ghetto at Pürtelaş Street in Taksim, Istanbul, in November 1989 was one of the peak points of violence towards queer people, which was followed by Ülker Street and Habitat clearings in the 90s, and Ankara Eryaman and Istanbul Avcılar banishments in early 2000s.
BACKSTAGE OF MEKAN ARTI. ACTORS PREAPRING FOR THE PLAY; BEING QUEER IN THE 80’S (80’LERDE LUBUNYA OLMAK) PHOTO ELİF KAHVECİ
1 GAYS ( IN THESE DAYS USUALLY ‘GAY’ WAS USING FOR DETERMINE TRANSSEXUALS ) AT POLICE STATION 2 THE TIDE WAS TURNED 3 NEW BREAST SİZE OF BÜLENT ERSOY 4 AYLİN BERKAY ( IN 1981 SHE WOULD BE CALLED SERBÜLENT SULTAN ) 5 THE FIRST GAY ASSOCIATION : ŞOROLOLAR ASSOCIATION
2. Stage ban On July 11, 1981 “men who dress like women on stage” were banned. The ban was based on a circular issued by the Ministry of Interior which involved “preventing bars, nightclubs and similar places that serve alcoholic drinks, from employing men who dress like women on stage.” In other words the state disregarded the feminine identity of trans women who were performing artists. Even though, some of these women had already completed their gender reassignment processes and received their pink ID cards years ago; meaning, their womanhood had been acknowledged by the same state. The careers of Alev Tamara, Funda Liza, Emel Aydan, Tijen Erman, Serbülent Sultan (Aylin Berkay), Merve Sökmen, Lemi Duygun, Talha Özmen, Derya Sonay, Noyan Barlas and of course Bülent Ersoy were interrupted, sabotaged, ruined. After an almost 8 years long ban, most of these women could not return to stage and those who could, were not able to be as successful as they were. In fact, coming events cast their shadows before… The 70s were the golden years of trans performing artists. Many newspapers and magazines, especially those owned by the Simavi family did not hesitate to regularly run stories or dedicate their headlines to them. These women some of which also became movie stars during the erotic film craze were under the media spot-
light. Almost all of them made the covers of magazines and publications such as Hafta Sonu, Şey, and Modern Gazete. Moreover they were not only recognized with their naked bodies but also with their successes and careers. These news stories tell us how Emel Aydan returns to perform at music halls or Serbülent Sultan’s Kim Bilir single tops the charts. Parallel to her skyrocketing career especially after she began working with Fahrettin Aslan in 1974, Bülent Ersoy gradually transforms into a nationwide phenomenon in so much that (best selling tabloid of the time) Hafta Sonu runs stories on her growing breasts and even her current breast size. She was constantly under the spotlight and perhaps for the first time in the world, she went through her gender reassignment process in front of the cameras. The first attempts to form a gay organization comes up in one such puff piece entitled “Homosexuals are to establish an association” which was published on February 17, 1978 in Hafta Sonu: After the US, Great Britain and France, homosexuals in Turkey also decided to establish an organization. Applying to the Governorate of Ankara, two musicians named Savaş Sökmen and Lemi took the lead in this endeavor and submitted their petition to the Governor’s Office. However the authorities denied their petition on the grounds that the charter of the association was not ready yet. The two founders want to
name their organization as the Association of Şorolos (meaning something like fairies or poofs; tn) since they say the word homosexual had rigid implications. Their mission is as follows: “Fairies of Turkey should unite and resist suppression.” The two founding members of “Fairies Association” Savaş Sökmen and Lemi are close friends with Bülent Ersoy. We think how close they are is evident in the photographs you see on this page. “We asked Bülent Ersoy to be the president of the association but she did not give us an answer yet” says Savaş and Lemi in unison. When we asked Bülent Ersoy about this interesting development, she gave us the following statement: “Sir, this is a matter completely irrelevant to my situation. Besides, such delicate matters should be contemplated thoroughly before making a decision. Yes mister Savaş and mister Lemi are close friends of mine but it’s not my place to say anything about their endeavors.” Zeki Müren and Ali Poyrazoğlu were also consulted about establishing the organization. “Everything within legal boundaries should be done however I’m not sure of the validity of unlawful, illegal acts. To my opinion, in the face of many problems our country has been going through, this is a totally uncalled for attempt of a few people” said Zeki Müren while Ali Poyrazoğlu said “Establishing such an association in Turkey does not sound bad to me.”
1 SERBÜLENT SULTAN , POSTER OF İZMİR KADİFEKALE GAZİNOSU 2 WERE THE LETTERS FAKE AS THE ASSOCIATION? 3 TİJEN ERKMAN 4 EMEL AYDAN WAS FAVORITE ACTRESS OF EROTIC FILMS 5 EMEL AYDAN WAS ONE THE MOST POPULAR SINGER OF GAZİNOS AND MÜZİKHOLS
Unfortunately this was a made-up story; there had never been a “Fairies Association” nor any attempt to establish such an organization. When I asked Lemi Duygun about what had really happened, he said “It was during the first years of our careers. We were told that the newspaper was preparing a piece on ‘how two young musicians from Ankara were trying to establish an association for musicians.’ After that the story came out with the headline “Fairies Association to be established”. Naturally we had to go through a lot of hardships at the time.” (Exclusive Interview, January 9, 2015) Even though it was a made-up story, it was about establishing a gay organization. However only two and a half years later, in August 1980, the narrative changed into “immoral homosexuals/trans individuals”. During a performance at Izmir Fair Bülent Ersoy could not resist the insistent audience and showed her breasts on the stage, which may be seen as marks of her victory, her self-realization. What followed after that incident and the chain of events that took her all the way to Buca Penitentiary can be evaluated as the early signs of the stage ban. From that day on, news about gay performing artists began to use a completely different phraseology. For instance, having heralded the establishment of a gay association only three years ago, Hafta Sonu condemns the same “fairies” for invading the stages with a head-
line story on the back cover on March 13, 1981. The terminology is libelous and ugly: Please take a look at the music hall ads in newspapers. Or if you find the chance, go to a few music halls. What you will see there will utterly surprise you. Today Istanbul’s stages are under the invasion of either effeminate or downright fairy performers dressed like women. These victims of gender anarchy has taken hold of every stage, from well-known music halls at the heart of Istanbul to the shabby stages of cheap clubs at the Marmara coast and taverns by the Bosphorus. The developments of past three years have finally brought us to this point . We are not in a position yet to clearly identify if this is a commercial necessity as a result of the new set-up of the music hall business or if modernism enthusiasts let everything go out of hand. However the truth is, normal soloists cannot find jobs in our country anymore. Think about it; a soloist who has spent years wasting his or her breath at the radio building’s corridors cannot get the interest he or she deserves from music hall owners. However those fairy soloists as most people like to call them, get the red carpet treatment and brought forward like kings of the hill thanks to advertisement campaigns that worth millions. Ironically many music lovers still pay at least five thousand liras per person to watch these soloists whose sexuality and nature are questionable. In January 1981 such performing artists were invit-
ed to the police headquarters and told to pull themselves together and as of June 11, they were completely banned to perform on stage. Serbülent Sultan sums up what she went through at the time as follows: “In 1979 I released one LP and one single with the name Aylin Berkay. However Serbülent Sultan became second to none, topped everything else. Then came the video era. They were recording my performances on stage and selling them as video cassettes. Some sort of live performance recordings… For instance when I went to London, I saw even there they had my videos. In those days I was pretty successful as Serbülent Sultan. At that time Bülent Ersoy had not fully completed her transformation. She was warned and banned since she wanted to perform on stage in a woman’s appearance. Shortly after that Bülent had her surgery. But they banned her again; they were even madder at her. The ban that came for her affected my career too. I went on working during the ban but they used to find out in five or six days and ban me. And there we go again! Thanks to my ID and my physical appearance , I had a head start but as soon as they discovered the truth they used to say ‘the likes of you are not allowed’ and kick me out of the stage.” (Exclusive Interview, March 25, 2015) (In the next issue, Günlerin Getirdiği (What Days Bring), Sevişmenin Rengi (The Color of Making Love), Blacklisting Gays and “Criminals without a Crime”)
Queer bodies and venues in New York Words Yener Bayramoğlu
I’m meeting Adam Peacock with an awkward feeling of embarrassment. There are only two days until the opening of his exhibition, which has been preparing for months and I’m not only embarrassed for taking his time, but also feel obliged to him. I feel shy while stepping into his studio because I know that time is more valuable then anything else in New York. That information immediately turns into a feeling of guilt when I see Adam struggling with the plastic objects he is going to use for his show. Thankfully, he is glad to have a short coffee break to talk with me. Adam has a big, dark beard in contrast to his blaring eyes filled with hope. On the way to one of those cafes in Chelsea he enthusiastically talks to me about a project he will start at the Royal College of Art, London a month later. And as he talks the doors to a dystopian realm open before me, as opposed to the hope in his eyes... He ponders on the power of the Internet, which can easily set the standards for desirable bodies, and seeks the answer to whether technology in thousands of years to come will have the same influence as it does today. Today’s molecular biology allows us to set the color of our children’s eyes or hair. For example, any one can have a son with eyes of deep blue with some intervention to his DNA. What kind of bodies will this technology create in the future? Adam believes that everyone will have bodies programmed to have six-packs, plump boobs and tight hips. We sit at a cafe on one of the busiest streets of Chelsea, west of Manhattan, which is also known as a gay
neighborhood where well-off gays at the peak of their careers and who take good care of their health and bodies reside for insanely high monthly rents. Adam tells me about a research he recently read about, which concluded that there were many gays who were ready to give up ten years of their lives to have the perfect body. Adam thinks the esthetics polished and presented to people by the virtual realm has a considerable share in this. And he asks himself how design and art should be at a time like this. What could an artist create on this process? We get up and walk down a few streets from the cafe, only to see a small bar. In the evening you will see the pink neon sign “The Stonewall Inn” on its window. It’s a shabby, small place. While many passers-by may not know, this small bar has a big place in history. Not the school version of course, the silenced history we’re talking about... On a day in June 1969, for the first time in history, the LGBTI individuals riot against police oppression in this bar. The riots were followed by protests, which would last for days spreading, first, to entire New York and then other cities in USA. Soon student groups, feminists, pacifists and black freedom fighters would join the LGBTI individuals. Together they would raise their voices against the oppression against the LGBTI by the state and the society. This solidarity is actually similar to what the LGBTI movement in Turkey experienced after the Gezi incident. Joshua Lubin-Levy says that “This solidarity is forgotten”. The close cooperation of the LGBTI move-
ment with other leftist movements vaporized especially after the AIDS crisis. It is Aliza Shvarts, a performance artist, who introduces me to Joshua. Aliza Shvarts, just like Adam Peacock, is one of those artists who is involved in body in her works. When she was studying at the Yale University, a performance she planned caused uproar throughout the country. She talks about this project for which she artificially impregnated herself and used abortive medicine for a period of nine months. She shot the cramps she experienced during miscarriage on video and collected the blood to exhibit later. When she attempted to show this work at the university, she was declared a serial killer by TV channels. When the Yale University announced that this was a performance work based on a fictional story, the American public sighs with relief. However, when Aliza stated that this was no fiction, she managed to add another layer to what she aimed to achieve: the discussion on and around this work had become part of the work itself thereby helping her show how a woman’s right to her body was violated especially when it came to abortion. I feel embarrassed when I meet Joshua, too, because there is only one day left to the opening of the exhibition he curated where one of Aliza’s work will be shown. He is tired, anxious but also willing to show me the exhibition. I feel quite privileged to be the first person to see the show. With “Subject to Capital” Joshua aims to remind us of the LGBTI movement’s once viable rapport with feminism and the leftist mo-
VERE GOOL , VISIBLE FUTURES LAB , ADAM PEACOCK , COURTESY OF ADAM PEACOCK
vement. He thinks that any criticism of capitalism is essentially quite feminist and queer—a thought which will really annoy old-fashioned leftists. Both queer and feminist criticism shows us that owning a capital will, beyond creating a gap between the rich and the poor, eventually lead to a number of other exploitative relationships. Looking at American history, this exploitation can be coupled by the genocide of Native Americans, exploitation of black people, treatment of women as second-class citizens, and even the displacement of people during gentrification process. Joshua believes that exploitation by capitalism is being trapped by patriarchy, heteronormativity and racism. One of the works best depicting this wound is Doreen Garner’s. Her sculpture, NEO (plasm), resembles an organic structure suspended from the ceiling; it is composed of various deformed fragments related to human body. They are equally familiar and unfamiliar. Composed of body hair, condoms, vaseline, buttons and artificial pearls, this “organic” pile recalls sexuality, festering bodies, diseases and running pus to mind. Then Joshua tells me how research on STDs had, for a long time, been carried out on bodies of black people. These include AIDS and syphilis that particularly hit the gays in the US and resulted in tragic deaths. A closer look to the details of Doreen Garner’s work gives me the alienating feeling of falling in the same shoes with the doctors who did research on black people’s bodies to observe the outcomes of these diseases. The fact that information on medicine and health has been
obtained by objectifying, exploiting and displaying bodies coldly stands before me. Becoming the object of a gaze, seeing, becoming seen, visibility... These are topics both the queer and feminist theories had long been involved with. Alan Ruiz’s two works in “Subject to Capital” takes the concepts of seeing and being seen away from the human body and places it into a space. He converts one of the windows of Abrons Arts Center, where the exhibition will take place, to a one-sided mirror thereby giving this public art space a window which looks like a mirror from the outside, like many high-rise buildings in New York, but through which you can see what’s going on outside. While the other windows of the exhibition space allow the viewer outside to see the works inside, this particular one prevents it. This work eventually gets me to think about a sense of belonging in relation to spaces. Who can become part of a space? For instance, who can be visible in public places? Who have the right to exist in which space? Who gives the right to exist or banish one from a space? In a city like New York, where gentrification tears down spaces, enormous profits are made from tiny places, square meters gain value by minutes, how can the powerless exist? Adam Peacock talks to me about a queer artist collective called The Spectrum, which is a platform consisting of queer artists producing especially performance works. Last year, they went on stage at MoMa PS1 for a day and showed their video works. They focus on the
gentrification process in New York with their works and ironically, they become the victims of it: they have to evacuate their spaces in Brooklyn where, once, they used to come together and have parties, because they can no longer afford the high rents. Late capitalism is quite effective in shaping spaces as much as it is in destroying them. Our relationship with our bodies and the degree of our satisfaction with them is shaped by the images we see on Instagram and Tumblr and the “likes” we get. As for New York, it is right in the very center of it. It is so easy to meet Instagram celebrities, who present their bodies for others to see and get hundreds of thousands followers in return, while you are walking in Chelsea. When I go to the opening of Adam Peacock’s show, I see that he managed to visualize this phenomenon, how human body is defeated by the information age, using the wits of a designer. His drawings work both ways: they explain how human body is trampled on in a didactic way and all this process, at the same time, turns into an abstract work of design. The plastic objects I saw Adam struggling within his studio, are now three-dimensional sculptures standing before me. New York is where the heart of late capitalism beats. The queer and feminist artists living there particularly experience this process with their bodies and lives. It is a process where the queer subculture gradually vanishes doe to gentrification and leaves its place to virtual platforms. As artists, they both document and strongly criticize it.
FACE TO FACE
Fondazione Prada’s regular:
Words Oktay Tutuş
Fondazione Prada’s new space in Milano opened to public this time last year with a few deficiencies. The architectural configuration combining the pre-existing seven buildings in the premises situated in Largo Isarco in the south of Milano, with three new structures (Podium, Cinema, and Torre) was regenerated from a distillery from 1910. The project was of course developed by OMA led by Rem Koolhaas with whom the brand has been collaborating for a long while. We spoke to Astrid Welter, Prada’s regular as much as OMA’s, and projects director at the Fondazione since 18 years, about the premises and his experience at the foundation. You have been working with Fondazione Prada for a very long time. How does it feel to have been working with them over such a long period of time and how did it influence you and your life? My collaboration with Fondazione Prada started in 1997, on occasion of the installation of Dan Flavin’s last artwork, which he conceived for the church Santa Maria in Chiesa Rossa in Milan. I still remember how exciting it was to contribute to the realization of such an important public artwork. I immediately felt thrilled to become part of this young cultural institution, with its international vision, it was a breath of fresh air in Milan. This same spirit characterized all the following years, each project brought about new challenges that taught me to think further ahead. So you could say that the growth of the foundation went hand in hand with my own intellectual and professional growth. A very rewarding match! While you were working with Fondazione you must have had great opportunities to meet many different kind of successful personalities working in the creative industry. What kind of feeling is it to work with them and do you have a special moment with one of them you will never forget and you could share with us?
ASTRID WELTER , PHOTO: DELFINO SISTO LEGNANI
It is always a great experience to meet and to work with artists, curators and architects, and it is of course enriching to be part of a creative dialogue. Especially if you get the sense that maybe what you are working on has a relevance that goes beyond the present moment. That was for instance the case when we did “When Attitudes Become Form” in Venice in 2013. Meeting the artists who had participated in Szeemann’s original show back in 1968 was very special – Lawrence Weiner, Gary Kuehn, Daniel Buren, Gilberto Zorio just to name a few. I remember walking through the show with them, and although I knew a lot about the historical show, after all the research, they all told me more details and some secrets about how it had been to work in 1968 in in Bern. And at the same time they were all projected towards the future, and they loved the fact that the reconstructing that show would bring about discussion about the present time. Fondazione is related close to architecture which is also obvious by Prada’s collaboration with OMA. Is there any specific reason why there is such a strong and close relationship with architecture? After the initial years dedicated to art exhibitions, Fondazione Prada started to enlarge its areas of interest and research, and we began to include projects in the fields of cinema, philosophy and architecture. This is because we intend ourselves to be an institution dedicated to culture in a more general sense. In the project conceived by OMA for Fondazione Prada’s permanent Milan venue, the architecture and the cultural program are intended to reciprocally challenge each other. The whole venue has been conceived by architecture firm OMA as a flexible platform and, in Rem Koolhaas’ words, a “repertoire of different spatial typologies”. Thanks to its articulated architectural configuration, Fondazione Prada will further strengthen its multidisciplinary vocation through a rich exhibition and cultural events program. As a luxury fashion brand’s foundation, do you consider to plan and create a fashion related exhibition or installation? Today there are many art foundations created by luxury fashion brands, both in Italy and the rest of the world. Fondazione Prada was born thanks to Mr Bertelli and Mrs Prada’s personal interests and passions – they decided to create Fondazione Prada in 1993, at a time where there was no theoretical discourse about the link between fashion and culture. In the past 20 years, the Fondazione has explored different cultural realms beyond art itself, such as cinema, architecture and philosophy, and has developed in complete autonomy, regardless of the logics and strategy of the brand. Fondazione Prada’s mission was always and would never have to follow the logics of the brand, and that it would work independently from it. They intended the Fondazione as a platform for artistic and cultural research, which has nothing to do with marketing. How are the creative progress managed for the exhibitions at Fondazione? Who takes place in the decision making part and who gives the final decisions? The Fondazione has become an open structure, where ideas are freely exchanged between the Presidents, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, the Artistic and Scientific Superintendent, Germano Celant, Fondazione Prada’s curatorial departments and the Thought Council, a group of individuals invited to engage with the future program for different durations of time. These and other contributions and voices bring to the process their own unique views on the present moment.
FONDAZIONE PRADA , PHOTO : BAS PRINCEN
FACE TO FACE
The magnificent bar design created by Wes Anderson was highly covered by the media. Cinematography has a special place in Fondazione. Is there any significant reason why Fondazione is so fond of the cinema? Fondazione Prada is not new to collaborations in the field of cinema: we worked with Robert De Niro to bring the Tribeca Film Festival to Milan, we had a long term relationship with the Venice International Film Festival with “The Secret history of Cinema”, a restoration project for Russian, Asian and Italian movies. At the same time, our exhibition program featured special cinema-related projects like, for instance, our collaborations with Steve McQueen and Francesco Vezzoli. Now in our new venue, we have an entire building performing as a cinema; we will for sure continue to explore that direction also in the future. How do you spend your time when you are not busy working for Fondazione? Are there particular places that inspires your creativity and visionary? I love to be in the nature. Looking at the sky or at the sea, walking in a forest or in the mountains is very important for me. Maybe because I grew up in the countryside of Westphalia, very close to the natural world.
FONDAZIONE PRADA , PHOTO : BAS PRINCEN
FONDAZIONE PRADA , BAR LUCE
A typical Milano cafe atmosphere was created at Bar Luce designed by the American film director Wes Anderson, in the entrance of the new space. a miniature version of one of the city’s historical locations, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is painted on the walls and the ceiling; White formica furniture, chairs, and mosaic ground reminds us of the 50’s and the 60’s, and especially of Vittorio De Sica’s Miracle in Milan (1951) and Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers (1960).
GOSHKA MACUGA IN COLLABORATION WITH PATRICK TRESSET , BEFORE THE BEGGINING AND AFTER THE END , 2016 ,PHOTO : DELFINO SESTO LEGNANI STUDIO ,COURTESY OF FONDAZIONE PRADA
Fondazione Prada presents the exhibition “To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll” by Goshka Macuga in Milan from 4 February to 19 June 2016 in the spaces of the Podium, the Cisterna and the Sud gallery. The project was conceived and designed by Goshka Macuga whose artistic practice is often referred to as taking on the roles of an artist, curator, collector, researcher and exhibition designer. Macuga describes these categories that are often attached to her practice, as “predicating her position within, and making her part of, an art historical taxonomy”. The artist works across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and design and explores how and why we remember both cultural and personal events, with a particular focus on how we create our own classificatory systems for producing and remembering knowledge in times of rapidly advancing technology and information saturation.
GOSHKA MACUGA , TO THE SON OF MAN WHO ATE THE SCROLL , EXHIBITION VİEW AT FONDAZIONE PRADA , MILANO
Fashion and art in close contact Words Seda Yılmaz
While fashion exhibitions open the doors of museums to greater mass, the relationship between fashion and art is re-investigated. In this context, we bring fashion collecting up to our agenda. We spoke to **, owner of one of the largest haute couture collections in the world, about his ‘weird’ passion. We gathered tips on fashion collecting from auctioneers.
Throughout history, although we’ve been through various periods when fashion and art were inspired by each other, fashion has always remained the stepsister of art. It has been thought to be ephemeral, short lived, and lacking intellectual-depth. Although fashion was not perceived at the same status as art, there have always been passionate collectors running after the creations of fashion designers. Well, how do the ever-increasing fashion exhibitions, affect this rare type of collecting? What does The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s preparation to welcome fashion under its roof for the first time since 1944, with an exhibition called Items: Is Fashion Modern? The exhibition will host 99 iconic dresses and accessories that are the cornerstones of the 20th and the 21st century, including ‘works’ such as Levi’s 501 and Casio watch that have
captured a spot in collective memory. The question is how this exhibition will reflect on fashion collecting. Yet, we have witnessed situations where fashion exhibitions added value to designers’ creations. On how English Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition affected the interest in the designer, along with the prices in the fashion collecting industry, Taylor, founder of Kerry Taylor Auctions, one of the most respected auction houses in fashion in England, states: “The exhibitions drastically increase the prices of the designs. When the Savage Beauty exhibition was on show in 2011 in New York, a McQueen item from the ready-to-wear collection sold for 65,000 pounds.” Following the exhibition, Daphne Guinness, one of the greatest haute couture buyers of our time, sold pieces from her personal wardrobe in an auction at Christie’s.
A dress from McQueen’s 2008 Fall-Winter collection was bought by Lady Gaga for 85,250 pounds. Iconic designers and their designs Having mostly mentioned contemporary exhibitions and designers, the main designs that fashion collectors run after are those of doyen designers such as Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. Even those who are least interested in fashion, would know that Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress or Coco Chanel’s petite robe noire created in the 20’s, stand as a monument in fashion history. For fashion collectors, those dresses are the real deal. At last year’s Sotheby’s Paris haute couture auction, the most expensive item sold at 56,250 EUR was a 1965 Balenciaga evening dress with appliqué pink feath-
TOP LEFT : BILLYBOY* , PHOTO: ROBERT DOISNEAU TOP RIGHT : SOTHEBY’S AUCTION OF DIDIER LUDOT COLLECTION , 2015 BOTTOM : DESIGNED BY ELSA SCHIAPERELLI IN 1938 , COPYRIGHT 2007 / 2016 BILLYBOY* & LALA
ers. At the auction Every Dress Tells a Story: Couture from The Didier Ludot Collection, there were over 150 dresses and accessories from the renowned Parisian collector Didier Ludot’s exclusive collection. The little black dress designed by Coco Chanel for Romy Schneider, the Windsor Duchess’ psychedelic 60’s dress, Yves Saint Laurent’s muse Loulou de la Falaise’s hat, one of the most loyal customers of Cristóbal Balenciaga, style icon, Mona Bismarck’s Balenciaga cape… The pieces were sold in total for 966,259 EUR, three times the pre-sale estimates. Ludot, dressing women in her boutique in Paris with haute couture designs worthy of museums, depicts her collection in the auction’s catalogue: “Although being a fashion antiquaire gives me an ultimate sense of satisfaction, it has its downsides. I’m always challenged to find storage for the expensive pieces I own. In a similar day, when I was looking for storage, the pieces I presented at the auction were revealed layer by layer as if they were part of ruins of an archaeological dig.” To be able to read fashion’s place in the collectors’ market, one must reflect on the factors that give a dress a collector’s item state. Holding over 50 auctions in a year in various fields, Chicago based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ luxury accessories and couture department manager Anne Forman states: “The first criteria is the designer. The dress gains further significance if it’s part of an important collection or if it’s a representation of an obvious design technique. The rarity and the undamaged state make it attractive for collectors. The auction prices are determined by demand. In general, popular pieces that receive the most bid present a better performance. Also, the conformity to current fashion trends also affects the prices. If the designer had recently passed away, or if it is a retrospective, that also increases the interest and the prices. From a collector’s perspective Fashion collector BillyBoy*, is a popular name in the art and fashion community, with his eccentric and bold style in the 70’s and the 80’s of the New York-Paris line, his obsession for the Elsa Schiaparelli designs, and closeness with the period’s creative socialite. Today, in his home in Switzerland, he dedicated a floor to his collection of over 10 thousand dresses. What determined his route in life was when at 14, he discovered an Elsa
Schiaparelli hat in a flea market. The designer, who almost obsessively collects the eccentric Italian designer’s dresses, owns the greatest Schiaparelli collection in the world. France’s rather established brands such as Balenciaga, Vionnet, Lanvin, Grès, Pierre Cardin, and Courrèges also make part of his collection. Answering our questions on the other end of the phone, BillyBoy* starts by talking about the period when he first got into collecting. “At the end of the 60’s the concept of fashion collecting was unknown. Very
few people were interested in haute couture collecting. So I must say I’m a pioneer. Collecting clothing, as magical as it is, also makes one feel lonely. People have always regarded my interest as strange. My family was worried for me so they even sent me to see a psychiatrist!” In obstinacy to fashion’s temporality he looks out for his hobby in rigor, and perseverance. When asked how effective financial resources were in transforming this hobby into a big collection, he replies: “when I first started people thought I was spending all
that money for nothing. Let’s not forget back then; one could really purchase great pieces without having to pay much. It was not about having the financial means; I could not have owned this collection had I not the passion for it.” The auctions do not excite him since all items are pre-determined and this leaves no space for any surprises. “When I walk around a flea market, or discover the wardrobe of a 90 year old lady, I become enthralled. Most of the pieces in my collection were purchased from their first owners.” One of the most valuable and rarest pieces, a Schiaparelli dress, of which Cecil Beaton drew the patterns, was personally given to him by the Duchess of Windsor. Close friends Diana Vreeland, Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Marlene Dietrich, Pierre Cardin and Erté are names he purchased clothing from. Although today he does not wear pieces from his collection, in his youth, especially Elsa Schiaparelli hats, jewellery, and jackets underlined his androgynous look. He surprised everyone when he came to the Fashion and Art: 1960-1990 exhibition inauguration at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1995, wearing a Mondrian dress by Yves Saint Laurent. “I lent pieces from Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, and Jean-Paul Gaultier for the exhibition. A reproduction of the Mondrian dress was exhibited since they couldn’t find the original, whereas I was in front of them with the original that was on stage in 1965.” Today, he prefers not to lend dresses or accessories from his collection to museums since some of them were damaged during exhibitions. A while ago, he got an offer from the Ferragamo Museum in Florence. “I now have very strict rules. When the dress is carried I must travel with it. No one shall touch it, and it must absolutely be insured.” In the future, he plans to open a museum, and share his collection of iconic pieces with everyone. “I don’t see any item as an investment. Each of them is a statement of my affection towards them.” It is impossible not to sense his deep passion.
FOREWORDS TO UNMADE EXHIBITIONS-2; CEYLAN ÖZTÜRK
A SCREENSHOT TAKEN FROM “KIZLAR SORUYOR” WEBSITE. THEY ARE CHATTING ABOUT VIRGIN GIRLS SEEN A BLACK HOLE IN THEIR VAGINA AND A POSSIBLE RESEMBLANCE OF A VAGINA AND A SEA MUSSEL
Pearl with a girl earring Words Murat Alat Artist Ceylan Öztürk
I have seen fake gods and evil gods and half gods and those willing to be gods Beyond all of this Beyond this pantheon If I believe in something Just one thing I believe in “Him” Doctor Who Could there be a better reason to write than the shame of being a man? Gilles Deleuze
Discourse at the crucifix [We sat down to set our watches. I was a man and she was a woman: I attacked the words, all she was left with were dreams.] The first time we met, as far as I can remember, was at first grade. She was blonde, with blue eyes. I sat down, and wrote her name on my journal for days. I kept my love for her deep inside for a long while. During the last days of the fifth grade, I skipped school, and offered her a bouquet that I purchased from the florist across the road. “Where did you buy these?” she asked. She then counted one by one the names of the boys from last grade she is in love with. My best friend was ranked first; I was third. During years, I gave her various dif different forms. I couldn’t talk to neither of them; they always remained in my dreams. I had finished first grade in high school when we went to Armutlu for womanizing during the last days of the summer holidays that I had spent almost all the time reading books, and playing video games. It was nightfall, and she was walking from across. She had short red hair; her shoulders shining like bronze from under the white tank top she was wearing. I recognized her the moment I saw her. She came and gave a hug to my friend. We went to a bar, had beer. I was drunk. I couldn’t talk. That was the first night I listened to Ahmet Kaya. On our way home that night, I was lying on the back seat of the car, and Kum Gibi (Like Sand) was playing on the radio. A couple of days later, I begged a friend to arrange a get together. I waited at the door of her prep school. We sat down in a tea garden. Those were the last days of summer. I was unable to contain myself. She was next to me I was feeling the warmth of her skin. In a week’s time, I went back to Istanbul; school was starting. We had a couple of phone conversations that ended with a random break up. I felt burnt from within. I gave my cell phone to a friend, and warned him: “do not give
me my phone even though I beg of you, I shouldn’t call her.” In a couple of days, I begged, and my friend gave me my phone. When I called, a guy replied: “You sound like a good guy, forget her.” She was back to her ex. I had my first crisis that day. Later, it was complicated; I spent the whole year half dead. At night, I couldn’t sleep, during the day I was delirious. I kept skipping school, and running off to Bursa to wait in front of the door of her prep school. That’s when I got kicked out of high school. That was the first time I vulnerably confronted life’s devastating forces. Drugs, therapists, crying and shaking seizures… This emptiness I fell into was also my savior from the somnolence, the cocoon I couldn’t break out of for years. When I noticed I couldn’t further fall down, I resuscitated. I was born again. She was again the one to bless my re-birth. This time, we came across in a dating site. We knew each other from high school, but I must confess I didn’t think she was worthy of me. We had a little chat, she opened up. She whispered she was secretly in love with me for all these years. I was overwhelmed. I surrendered to her healing touch. We were snuggling up all night long at the wave breakers in Caddebostan, and I was going home every night like I was drunk. It went on for a couple of years. I grew up, got stronger by sucking her life force up. I’m not sure if she was the one to give out, or if I was the one to run off in boredom but at the end of three years, we fell apart. She didn’t resist either; she went back to her darkness to later come back and square our account. When she was back to collect the debt, she was cruel. I was devastated. A Greek philosopher, described love as the effort to re-gain the wholeness that died away. It is said that the Lover and the Beloved who were separated by Zeus’ rage, wander around Earth to find each other and heal their wounds. Love is the name of the existence fire burning within. I
object! She is not my missing half! On the opposite, she is my ever-bleeding wound; each encounter causes more casualties, more deficits; it leaves me shattered. She gives me another strike of scalpel every time the blood flowing from the flesh she dug up starts clogging and the wound starts scabbing. My body is full of wounds she inflicted. Each wound shows me life itself with a new aspect. I love my wounds, I beg for more. She also taught me to love my wounds. When I was a kid, I had blood phobia, now I know very well its taste. A life-changing encounter occurred in the month of May. We had gone to Van for a school trip, and I was still under the effect of the last war. She was sitting there all alone in the bus while touring the city. I approached her hesitantly, sat next to her. She showed me everything she found to be interesting in her bag, one by one; gave me an ear bud, and asked: “Do you listen to music?” Suddenly this being whom I had witnessed various aspects of since my childhood, manifested itself in front of me, in one sole body. She was thin. She had round shoulders that reminded me of princesses in Russian novels, and timid eyes. It wasn’t long before I lost myself in them. She was very beautiful. We passed three years together, full of pleasure and terror where we dug into each other’s wounds, and jumped into the most fearful desires without any hesitation. She was the one that I had called before being hospitalized. “You know I can’t come to Bakırköy” she said. “Ok.” I told her, and I never ever heard from her again; yet her wound stayed with me when she left. Holy Virgin, Mary Magdalene. The good mother as the resource of pleasure, the evils witch giving pain with her absence. However many times I tried to fuck her, my dick was always too small for her; every time I was lost in her darkness. I learned the impossibility of fucking from her. She took me off of the crucifix that I had
proudly carried between my legs before I got to know her; she set me free. The rusty nail marks in my hands and feet, and the spear wound under the right side of my chest are still fresh. Even though lately I tried to convince myself it is possible to live without her, it didn’t work. I took other bodies in front of me, fought other wars; each time she reminded me the futility of my efforts by exhibiting herself from far away. I sometimes ran into her in an exhibition opening, sometimes I read her in a book. I do know that she cannot be without me either. She exists in this world for me. When I go away, she will close the door behind me. Someone used to say, “women do not exist; they are nothing more than men’s phantasy”. Now in her absence, all clichés about love earn a meaning. The arabesque I despised until today that I defined as a spoiled man’s scream is redefined to me today. I put Müslüm’s shaking voice next to his lyrics, and discover traces of his unwritten story. I compete with Lilith, whose name does not exist in holy books. The being that didn’t let Adam know her, and erased from history. Maybe that is where I get my obsession with vampire stories. I take shelter in that who will kill me, escaping from the fear of immortality. Will I see her again? Can I handle another encounter? I have no idea. I know that I no more have the heat of adolescence burning in me. I am more afraid of dying, and of being reborn. I don’t know how many times more I can handle to restart. Yet, after this entire struggle, I feel that at each contact, she left a piece of herself within me. She slowly transformed me into herself. I looked over the abyss for long enough that I now carry the abyss within me. There is a black hole beating in my chest, and each discourse, tale, and story die away in this hole. This hole gives me the strength to resist.
FOREWORDS TO UNMADE EXHIBITIONS-2; CEYLAN ÖZTÜRK
FOREWORDS TO UNMADE EXHIBITIONS-2; CEYLAN ÖZTÜRK
FOREWORDS TO UNMADE EXHIBITIONS-2; CEYLAN ÖZTÜRK
inherit Nick the Brandt dust Words Müjde Bilgütay
Nick Brandt brings together diverse elements such as portrait photography, symbolism, environment, nostalgia and storytelling with an emphasis on aesthetics that contemporary art circles might keep a distance, while targeting as wide an audience as possible. In his “Inherit the Dust” series the artist records the devastation of wildlife in Africa, with a series of epic panoramas that picture the animals once roamed the savannah as ghosts among oblivious people who try to go about their daily lives.
ALL PHOTOS © NICK BRANDT, COURTESY OF GALERIE CAMERA WORK, BERLIN
It was one of the most impressive frames I had ever seen and believe me, these eyes have seen their fair share of photographs in life, as part of my job... But this time it was for something completely irrelevant. I really don’t remember why but I was looking for a picture of a predator, probably for a game avatar or something equally stupid. Among the hundreds of thumbnails that appeared at the images section of Google, a black-and-white frame stood out, so I enlarged it. Normally documentary-style nature photographs are shot in colour and there is often action involved. This was nothing like that. The sepia hue and the soft light of the photograph reminded of early 20th century studio portraiture. A male lion was resting against the dramatic backdrop of a gloomy sky just before the storm, giving his face to the wind. However despite the tranquillity of the scene, you could feel his strength and unquestionable power. He was the king of the savannah and self confident in knowing this, he was watching over his estate almost smilingly. Later, I was going to read that well known photography critic Vicki Golberg had found the same frame as elegant as any arranged by Arnold Newman, the father of environmental portraiture, “as if Brandt knew the animals, had invited them to sit for his camera, and had a prime portraitist’s intuition of character...” It was a version of the same portrait in a wasteland you will see at the last page of this article and how did it end up there is what this article is about. Background Nick Brandt brings together diverse elements such as portrait photography, symbolism, environment, nostalgia and storytelling with an emphasis on aesthetics that, within the framework of current trends, contemporary art circles might keep a distance, while targeting as wide an audience as possible. Having studied painting and film at St. Martin’s the British artist is an award winning director of music videos. After coming to the US in 1992 he made a reputation for the videos he made for musicians like Michael Jackson and Moby. Brandt’s love affair with East Africa began in 1995 when he came to Tanzania for the first time to shoot Jackson’s “Earth Song” video: “I fell in love with the place and with the animals. That’s not very surprising - it has a similar effect on many people. But that experience shifted my focus in terms of what I wanted to say about the world.” Over the next few years, frustrated that he could not capture on film his feelings about and love for animals, he realized there was a way to achieve this through photography, in a way that he felt no-one had done before. So in 2001, Brandt embarked upon his ambitious photographic project: a trilogy of books to memorialize the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa, which was completed in 2013. He photographed on medium-format black and white film without telephoto or zoom lenses (sometimes following the same animal for weeks, gaining its trust). His work was a combination of epic panoramas of animals within dramatic landscapes and graphic portraits more akin to studio portraiture: “I’m not interested in creating work that is simply documentary or filled with action and drama, which has been the norm in the photography of animals in the wild. What I am interested in is showing
the animals simply in the state of Being. In the state of Being before they are no longer are. Before, in the wild at least, they cease to exist. This world is under terrible threat, all of it caused by us. To me, every creature, human or nonhuman, has an equal right to live, and this feeling, this belief that every animal and I are equal, af affects me every time I frame an animal in my camera.” Inherit the Dust Inherit the Dust is Brandt’s latest body of work which he began in 2014 and completed just recently. In a series of panoramic photographs, Brandt records the impact of man in places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. In each location, Brandt erects a life size panel of one of his animal portrait photographs, setting the panels within a world of explosive urban development, factories, wasteland and quarries. The outcome is a series of epic panoramas that picture the animals once roamed the savannah as ghosts among oblivious people who try to go about their daily lives. Our mail interview with the artist and excerpts from the foreword he wrote for the book of the same name give us more details about this impressive project. Why photography? “It’s not that I think that a still image can be more dramatic or accessible. Not at all. I actually think that the moving image, in combination with the right music, can be the most emotionally impactful art form of all. It’s just that for me personally, photography was the best medium to express my feeling about the natural world and its devastation, and about my animals as sentient creatures not so different from us. For me, the animals came first, not photography.” Photoshop and waiting for something to happen “Could I not have achieved the same result by compositing the animal portraits into the panoramas in Photoshop? Actually, it makes a huge difference. Shooting reality, in situ, with the physical life-size panels present, was always going to produce far superior results, due to the countless unexpected incidents, both small and large, that occur throughout any shoot. I could pick any panorama photo in this book, and happily mention something surprising that occurred in the final shot that made it better. But even I, sagely making this observation now, didn’t fully realize this at the start. When we began, I assumed that I would need to ‘stage’ the action, and with my assistant director coordinating, call Action for selected local people to move through frame on cue. However, within two days of starting shooting at the factory location, I realized that this wasn’t working, leading to stiff, dull results. Waiting for something unexpected to happen was more likely to produce something much more interesting, no matter how small, than engineering a situation. So from that moment, I set up my camera on location in front of the panel, waiting for the unexpected, as over time, the local people grew accustomed to us and the panels being there.” Gloomy sky and waiting some more “When photographing in East Africa, I like my clouds imported from Northern Europe. Clouds (and the light that they create) that are somber, gloomy and wintry. This is one of the main reasons this shoot lasted over three months. Yes, there was a lot of driving
between locations and setting up, but even in the rainy season, it’s still Africa. Which means a lot of sunshine. So there was also a lot of waiting for the right cloud. Obviously, any scene is instantly transformed in terms of look, mood and emotion by the sky overhead and accompanying light. None of these panoramas would have worked bathed in hard sunlight. The melancholic atmosphere that I sought for this body of work would have instantly vanished. Again, some will say that the clouds could have been dropped in via photoshop. But I always wanted the actual cloudscape that connected with the scene on the ground.” Making a strength out of a weakness “Over prior years of photographing portraits of animals in East Africa, each of those featured in the panels was originally unused - for whatever reason, justified or unjustified. Fortunately, this did mean that when I started poring over ten years’ worth of contact sheets, I found quite a few that worked well in the context of this project. Sometimes these photos had gone unused for a very simple reason. I had five strong portraits of my favorite elephant of all but I felt at the time that I could only release two photos of him for Across The Ravaged Land (the second book of the North Africa trilogy). That left three unused portraits for this series. There were also quite a number of the photos that originally, I had felt were flawed for more aesthetic reasons. But now, placed within the context of each very different setting, the portraits’ original weaknesses are transformed into a strength. (...)In Alleyway With Chimpanzee, 2014, the panel of the chimp is set by a semi-stagnant stream of fetid sewage. I had rejected the original portrait because I had hoped for more of a connection with the chimp. But here in the alleyway location, with his head bowed, he appears, in my mind, to be lamenting the loss of the world that he once knew, and the denuded world that is now there in its place.” Shooting on film in the digital age As with all my previous work, this series was shot on black and white medium format film. Each panorama was constructed out of 6x7cm negatives stitched together in Photoshop, to create the final widescreen view. Practically speaking, to shoot this series on film instead of digital, was even more crazily, willfully impractical than usual. This is because each final panorama required the frames to be seamlessly stitched together. Had I been shooting digital, I would have had the reassurance that the rest of you now do, of checking almost immediately that you had captured what you thought you had. But for me, I was stuck in East Africa on a three month shoot, with no way of processing the film and printing contact sheets of the negatives within three thousand miles. “The huge wide field of vision of these panoramas could never have been achieved on any analog camera prior to the existence of photoshop, to assemble that field of vision. So perhaps inevitably you ask, would you shoot film again, on an equivalent project - with all the stress and massive extra expense? And once again, right now, the artist and masochist in me tightens his jaw, grits his teeth, and quietly utters a single word.... Yes. Because digital, in its frequently sterile and clinical perfection, leaves me stone cold bored.”
Lean back, your life is on track, 2015
Wasteland with cheetahs and children, 2015
Alleyway with chimpanzee, 2014