100-word reviews are a format that we’re 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 sets here, here and here.
28 November–28 December 2013
The clinical atmosphere of Hypologie, a group exhibition featuring Turkish and French artists, confronts the viewer with a dystopia of the moment without the distance and “charm” of a sci-fi movie. An icy landscape of an unknown city, a poem transcribed into sound waves and a trompe d’oeuil dibond print of fluorescent lights, perfectly complemented by the gallery’s air vents, invite us to seek poetry within the all too familiar language of unfriendly diagrams, charts, and symbols of our time. The mood is one of quiet desperation and sweet nostalgia perhaps most aptly delivered by a piece by artist duo Art of Failure: earth engraved on vinyl, playing an undecipherable prophecy of what is to come.
Never Again! Apology and Coming to Terms with the Past
Tütün Deposu, Istanbul
25 October–15 December 2013
This exhibition is a meticulous mapping exercise, interweaving links between eight case studies in which states acknowledge and apologize for past rights violations and/or crimes of humanity. Each case is illustrated with informative texts, testimonials, reference books, photographs, and moving image—suggesting that exhibitions, using various forms of media, are tempting tools to disseminate research. Scattered in the gallery space are walls and display units of different sizes and shapes, which do not create a predetermined path to read or link the cases. The photographs of people’s resistance, albeit few in numbers, appear to be the strongest element in the presentation, as they illustrate that apology is not simply a formal, rhetorical device but the consequence of ongoing struggles. Images presented in such a context surely beg for a framework to be provided, coupled with indexical information, but in this instance, the abundance of informational text overwhelms the exhibition experience, threatening to subsume the viewer’s interpretation on the materials on display.
Pera Museum, Istanbul
27 November 2013–19 January 2014
Pera Museum is exploring Yıldız Moran’s little-known archive. Her travel photographs from Europe, Anatolia, and her celebrity portraits shed light into the past of our country along with the history of photography. Once a coveted and daring female photographer, Moran became a mystery to many when she quit photography upon marrying the renowned poet Özdemir Asaf. The 84 photographs in the exhibition are selected from her 8000+ archive compiled during the merely 12-year-long career. Moran was well received in Turkey when she returned from England after studying photography in the 1950s. In this exhibition Moran reunites with her viewers and takes them on a “timeless” journey.
a few seconds every day
14–20 December 2013
For a brief six days, maumau residency hosted a melancholic exhibition by Krystallia Sakellariou titled a few seconds every day. Sakellariou presents body of work produced for and inspired by Istanbul. The exhibition rooms are divided, a walk in city where the living spaces are built using found materials—cardboard and plastic bags, softly echoing the slums forged throughout Istanbul. In the other room, where we become a part of the constructed land using two Kodak projectors, we walk into a model by Sakellario. I felt that I am stepping into a memory, an event already experienced. Outside, a site-specific installation featuring an abandoned home and the projected image of a window—the artist is letting me experience a foreign thought of the illusion of a space, an event.
The Stones Talk
15 November 2013–12 January 2014
The Stones                                                                        Talk.
(The exhibition curated by Özge Ersoy brings together 71 objects, archaeological artefacts that Çavuşoğlu reconstructed by using various materials such as bronze, ceramic, glass, or mosaic.)