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where It was, shall I be...  24 September - 7 October 2005

From: G. Bal
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 03 October 2005


This group exhibition curated by Gulsen Bal, taking place in Keçiburcu, formally a Byzantine basilica in the city walls of Diyarbakır (south-eastern Turkey), aims to discuss a point of departure, which requires an experimental approach take into account different artistic circumstances encapsulated in the title ‘where It was, shall I be...’

By confronting geographical, political, social and cultural standpoint within a single “cultural specific situation” the response and/or challenge involve bringing forward issues of identity or identification of territory and “imaginary geographies” to reflect “cultural site-specific realities.”

For this creative journey Cengiz Tekin, Charles Kriel, Dilek Winchester, Elena Cologni, Genco Gülan, Gülsen Bal, Kypros Kyprianou & Simon Hollington, Michalis Kokkoliadis and Turan Aksoy developed projects which try to respond and/or challenge the exhibition concept which presupposes a passage or plan in the realisation of an unknown. A grid that we do not often see but which we always operate within defines or determines the scope of “ethico-aesthetic” paradigm specific to transient/traversing situation.

In Cengiz Tekin’s photographic work Free-kick and Invitation to Tranqulity, differenciation in the local identity is the key issue and in problematizing the question of ‘who speaks’ within culture’s own evolution and its dynamics, he presents images of confrontation brought about by aspects of culture within the context of the local and global power relations. The idea of ‘our being’ as ‘identity in response,’ reoccurs in Turan Aksoy’s phototropic triptych Being Pretentious offers contemplations and mirrors upon the state of being of everyman, including detachment, lack of closure or transience together with the spectre of something gone or yet to come reflected in a circumstantial layering.

Charles Kriel take as his starting point the conflict between being seen as a subject by the larger order of society, and not being seen at all rendered as an object, for his video installation The Real. With ramifications for all those occupying the position of the marginalized in contemporary Western society, Kriel addresses one of the most pressing issues namely maintaining identity and offers an insight into the commonality of interpersonal and social discourse observable in many cultures.

Whereas commitment relative to cultural continuity and identity is tested in situations of change or internal erosions within the realm of transmigration, Kypros Kyprianou and Simon Hollington explores the spatial temporal disjunctive occurrences at the point of cultural conflicts in their video piece Pidgin through questioning the symbols of power.

Elena Cologni’s video piece Dust locates layers of personal memory, submerged in repetitious process, acting as either for some a symbol of cultural stagnation or a reinforcement mechanism, established. In so far as the “Imagery is the Symbolic’s Other” in their transformative potential or negation, ambiguity is likewise the resolution which creates a space for enunciation.

By contrast a plateau of engagement is initiated out of Michalis Kokkoliadis’s experimental performance based workshop under the title of Oedipus infusing elements drawn upon intended to facilitate exploration of classical theatre in reinforcement of the unknown through the introduction of inter-disciplinary approaches. His Oedipus is conceptually a footprint, tries to capture and make a monument towards “the freedom” as Miller expresses it that moment when “…the terror and the fear that is classically associated with tragedy come from questioning the unquestioned.”

Inasmuch as the uncanny introduced in tea, sunflowers, kids, et al… by Dilek Winchester refers to an experimental dynamic in the realm of the “ethico-aesthetic” paradigm. What some may regard as the concrete poetry, which is also emergent from cross-cultural discourse is presented to extend and enhance a shared creative representation. The resultant work of Winchester and her collaborators from the workshop, which she had previously run in Diyarbakır, brings together two cultures in productive play where she formulates multiple strategies to cast away prefigured ontology conceived in a representational boundary.

Focusing upon the local political/historical positioning specific to globalization, it appears in Genco Gülan’s exploration of binary oppositions and complementary harmonies in the ‘voice of the other’ his The Lost Plane, is a specific manifestation of aspects of interactive multi-media towards “The Architecture of Star War.” In the former he creates perplexity in virtual situations as he alludes to topical iconic image and satires media spectacle. These might be images considered merely controversial, contrite, or even maybe it seems like clichéd conventional entrenchment, which eventually creates a dichotomy while provoking what takes the place of communication.

In her video installation Do You Think What I Think, Gülsen Bal suggests a contradictory close scrutiny as both an insider and outsider temporariness where “everything goes” negation, something like going underground, a dark adventure which suggests a certain discursive shift related to a new conjunction of ‘the transition’ consisting of its potential to make visible symbolic differences something echoed ‘I is an Other.’

As a result this exhibition looks at both the “flows and the spaces of encounters” in order to find alternative positions and possibilities about questions of cultural complexity re-locating European in a space relative to other spaces and vice verse within an inter-disciplinary artistic consciousness in order to create a “cross-border communication” questioning ‘the territorial boundaries and/or boundary shifts’ and ‘trans-local and/or trans-national connections.’

This exhibition is sponsored by Anadolu Kültür and British Council and hosted by Diyarbakır Sanat Merkezi.

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