100-word reviews are a new format that we’ll be trying out at m-est on a regular basis. If you would like to contribute, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see the previous set here.
Memories of the Forgotten
Ahu Akgün, Didem Erbaş, Dilan Özdemir, Eser Epozdemir, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan
March 7-April 14, 2013
“Memories of the Forgotten” (Unutulanın Hatıraları) features five new projects developed specifically for a haunting exhibition space, a former water cistern beneath a 19th-century apartment building in Pera. Five women artists—Ahu Akgün, Didem Erbaş, Dilan Özdemir, Eser Epozdemir, and Hera Büyüktaşçıyan—engage with the building’s rich history of occupancy and abandonment as a means to trace the tumultuous past of the neighborhood itself. Highlights include Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s vertigo-inducing installation which uses a mirror to inverse the viewer’s relationship to the cavernous space; Didem Erbaş’s delicate collages made up of found photographs of minorities living in the neighborhood; and a short documentary video of a former resident’s memories of the area’s cosmopolitan atmosphere at mid-century.
At Full Cock
March 2-31, 2013
Selim Birsel’s exhibition, “At Full Cock”, displays the artist’s video works, photographs, and installations in addition to new renditions of two earlier works. The exhibition is constructed on the artist’s personal experience and encounters from his journeys to various places in the last few years. Birsel’s work “News Impressions”, in the form of an artist book, reflects his impressions in different geographies through the frames of people as well as local environment he photographed. “Cabinet de Flanerie Rhizome” is arranged as a study room that displays a range of daily objects collected from his journeys, such as a comb from Diyarbakır and curtains from Lebanon. These works point out the processes of collecting materials from daily life and producing works through which he deals with social and political issues by departing from the personal. Thus, the production process of the works and their interpretation appear as the distinctive features of Birsel’s exhibition.
February 2-March 2, 2013
“Talisman” derives its power from the layering of meaning through the interpretation of found objects, in harmony with the themes and issues that have long characterized Karamustafa’s oeuvre. In six works, Karamustafa invites us to think about the volatility of Istanbul’s memory and its rapid transformation, the importance of documentation, the interruption caused by the alphabet revolution, the reflections of fascist aesthetics, the prevalence of homosexual love despite its widespread denial, the relationship between text and image, the evolution of exhibition-making, the art world’s changing perceptions of kitsch, discourses revolving around women’s hair, and the secret world of magic.
Let’s Go to Postering: 1963-1980: The Turkish Left’s Visual Adventure
DEPO / İletişim Publishing
February 8-March 24, 2013
On view are some 1,500 posters, magazines, and LP covers that constitute the visual materials used in Yılmaz Aysan’s recent eponymous book. As an artist, graphic designer, and an active participant in the visual production in study here, Aysan makes a selection from his own archive and does so in a messy way. The overall experience is overwhelming as the posters are hung on top of each other and indexical information is mostly lacking. This is, however, what personalizes the display, the approach to history and archiving behind it. The exhibition risks becoming an illustration of the book, but also proves that individual responses to history are as powerful as “clean” and institutionalized viewpoints.