31 Mart 2010 Çarşamba


The largest looming activity of new strategies have been administered as public relations and marketing by big galleries for especially of late, is spotlighting more and more by popular issues and topics. Arguable point is the convincement of these are given forth as criticism of popularizm. The efforts to embellish contemporary plastic arts with the marketing habits of other parallel contemporary art disciplines, do increase the public interest on this field, but they also query the respectability perception in the market.

A domestic boast in mag parlance can be absurd, trying exaggeratedly to convince on the perception about the eminence of contemporary art, maybe with the success feeling driven after being the first in terms of attendance to an important international art fair or establishment of a branch gallery in a foreign country. The milieu, gradually hiding the artistic works’ plastic, conceptual and artistic adequacy and the artists’ sincerity behind the text writers’ creation, contrary to expectations is creating dissatisfaction. If the viewer, in such an environment, handing the exhibition test or the artist’s statement and has read the big talking of the artist in interviews (mentioning the bigness perception driven by not being on the safe side with the sincerity) stands in front of the artistic work ( the majority of people earning their livings in this market follow this order, besides collect information from every media as much as possible) unfortunately may frustrate.

Maybe as a negative perspectival critic, this may be called as a change in mission fed on with either being in league with other media and disciplines such as, music, fashion and cinema, or getting carried away while drinking coffee to become sober after a famed party (maybe overestimates word-of-mouth). It is also possible to be influenced with the marketing genius after managing more international doings in number and adding artists living or educated abroad to the permanent staff. However, it is hard to say that there is no change in operations.

It is something calls attention to the marketing aura covering the artistic work, that the artists are commenting conflicting even contrary statements with their ways of living and works on delicate subjects that are order of the day or talking elitist affording to deify them. In other words, the artists’ sayings and the line of actions, changing when a microphone or a camera is seen, are being talked and works and exhibitions are being put on the back burner, as a disturbing point for artists. It is indeed a responsibility for the artists to cogitate and talk these out, contrarily the problem I mentioned is that their style and way of expression are not fitting on them properly where there isn’t any work related with this issue (in fact if these works exist they must convince us to the sincerity)

The question that I’m actually trying to find an answer for here is, why this way of public relations is preferred? Galleries can settle different strategies at first, as marketing to swing it, such as speaking in public, with collectors or only intellectuals. On the other hand, sincerity and consistency perceptions of customer appear to be the most important and necessary points of the following process called public relations, actually where, the brand positioning is performed means to form an opinion about brand in customers’ mind.

When we enter to the galleries in the incontestable apartment presented as the most important sanctuary of contemporary art, such a feeling starts to rise: Here is such a holy and incomprehensible place in where these works of the famous artist are shown have to be as holy as it. Contrarily, curiously enough, we don’ t feel like that when we go to the banks' galleries which may be biased as being closer and predisposed to appraise world in a materialistic approach. According to my opinion, there can be two definitions of why these precious galleries that have a high value in the hearts of the art audience and professionals chose to act as a new gallery aggressive to spotlight for achieving the publicity instead of their niche audience. Firstly, as I mentioned above, it is considered as applicable domestically, when seen that the strategies deployed abroad are successful. Secondly, more PR, with the new niche customer segments discriminated from the whole audience according to their closure to the popular culture ,are targeted in order to scoop in competition among leaders.

Being more analytical, the second possibility noticeably defines the alienation felt by some of the viewers and artists, besides unfortunately this definition proves the success of the gallery in strategy deployment. Consequently, it is possible to say as a critique involutes with fear (from a marketing point of view), it is a dangerous and troublesome change (even the necessity of this change is proven empirically) for an adolescent ‘company’ that it can bear a loss in loyalty of the present customers. Furthermore, the change threshold of the audience in terms of trust and respectability must have been predicted as high as possible, where the sector is not degenerated with popularization as it is in sectors such as music, fashion and cinema.

Alper Karabatak
26 January 2010
Photo by oktena(panoramio.com), google earth selection.


Galerist opened the new exhibition ‘Subject: Free of Leyla Gediz, known as one of the most outstanding and mischievous names in contemporary art for her infinity in production and makings choice, consisting recent Works in a wide makings range as oil on canvas paintings, epoxy sculptures, sound installations and ready made objects.

In the exhibition, the name of which is taken from the homework of the artist in primary school years, we come across with the hopeful, imaginative and humorous answers of a mischievous child, swore off the rules and unwilling to become tame, found to the beginning question of the artist that if we could create a free area between the humans’ restrictions brought to humans.

When you get into the gallery, you will feel like a child realizing how the world is big and the objects are playable for the first time. While strolling around the exhibition consisting the new relationships between form and meaning found thanks to imagination freedom unique to children, in order to narrow your imagination you have to look at the text about the works, given at the entrance with not taking the sincerity of imagination and being gratified by it, hidden in the text into consideration, or just savour the infinite freedom of strolling again and again.

Dead objects begin to talk in this exhibition, possible to evaluate in still life tradition. Two installations called ‘One of the Socks I and II’ interrogates our innocence through these dirty and huge objects carried to place, where ‘To a Hair’ shows the incognizance about our externalization of malignancy belongs to human nature while we want to flow these to out-of-doors as far as possible.

We feel the necessity to control the glue behind the happiness we try to attach above the fanciful masks, fabricated meanings and saved areas of our world inclined to rupture, full with fraudulent slogans, taught targets and trickery by the Works named as, ‘English Lesson’, Circle of Friends’, ‘The Good Student’, ‘The Performance’, ‘Homemade Posters’, ‘Yes’ and ‘Autopsy’, after out placing the compunction seen in ‘Death of an Acrobat’ , create self styled hope fields for ourselves such a child handling a glue with the artist by the Works named as ‘Subject: Free, ‘Star Trek Series, ‘Rainbow’, ‘Info graphics’, ‘ Relapse’, ‘Red Pareo’ and ‘Heart’

The artist calls the gallery as ‘noa noa’ , a Tahitian idiom, both defines her problematic through referring to Paul Gauguin’s residence in this country to move away from degenerated values, privities and the humans’ restrictions brought to humans and highlights the importance of form and makings multiplicity in arts and criticize the academic dogmas and fashions through the literal meaning of the word that is the beauty of the smell risen from nature under the sun. the exhibition, getting the form talkative with hope and imagination, invites the audience to discover its narcissist childhood and a depiction of ‘noa noa’, comprehensible only with art as regards irrelevant objects in a restricted place.

You can see artist’s Works in Galerist / Galatasaray until 20th of February before the exhibition ‘A Dream...but not Yours’ that will arranged in National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C.) at 12th of February, displays 11 important women artists’ works, consisting Leyla Gediz.

Alper Karabatak
29 January 2010


Claude Closky, won the "Grand prix des Arts Plastiques" (1999) and the Marcel Duchamp Prize (2006), whose Works displayed in more than two hundred exhibitions abroad France and plenty of times in France, partaken of important museums collection, is a world-famous post-conceptual artist. The Works of the French artist, borne in 1963 and lives in Paris, are primarily been exhibited in Turkey, with the exhibition opened in Akbank Art Center in 16th of January, named ‘Heads or Tales’, curated by Ali Akay.

The artist, known with the Works problematizing The funny and vapid abundance of consumption society, questions the absurdity of symbols turning into an object with the juxtaposition of meanings, depends on the opposition, lets the audience to perceive the illusion of personal choice and its manipulation in absurd systems with a terrific and gently radical expression.

He criticize the categorization through ambiguous use of meanings imposed to images by the images he took from Mass media and internet, precluding the aesthetical meanings and he paraphrases the bond between form and content with a multi-faceted point of view. He explicates the components of systems and daily life through embedded explanations, with objectifying meanings, which puts the value judgments, affirmed being objective but based on relativity, in their subjective nakedness hidden.

Despite focusing on the Logic between systems and entity in his early works, he majors on chronological, alphabetical and numerical explanations in systems with his recent works.

With this exhibition, named after the two-dimensional opposition of number (heads) and writing (tails), designating the disappearance and permeability of discrimination of the images, words and voices, the artist reminds the viewer of being stuck in bilateral choices and contrariety of life, referring to transience of meaning and absurdity, impossibility of choice in accelerated daily life through information age. This also refers the congestion in art as a part of this explanation frame like other systems.

According to Ali Akay, the curator of this exhibition, the artist through this exhibition, by standing silently, making us think about significance or insignificance of images, creating contradictory and binary oppositions where he gives some hints of the recent past of art history, of world of information and news, of labels in consumer society's everyday life, of images between words and of echoes in sounds and similarities to the viewer stuck into oppositions of no choice and double-sided images.

Three Works of artist is being displayed in this exhibition which are an installation, a dia-projection and a video animation. The work on the grounding floor named as ‘Flat World’, is composed of thousands of double-sided images put on a huge white table, makes the viewer feel that he/she is going to be transcribed by moving in the gallery. They are denoting that the naiveté of own with the white color of the table, the demotion pressure toward multidimensionality with the two dimensional images, the perception shaped with bilateral relations of meaning with double-sided printing.

‘No Choice’ displayed in the big room of second floor, through incompatible but relevant images projected to the walls facing one another, which makes the concurrent view impossible, refers the randomicity of choice, meaning’s permeability and incomparability created by dualism.

‘Geo Metry’ being displayed in the small room of the second floor, makes us feel the symbols partaking to the unavoidable flow of time, through cyclically stretching geometric forms on world map.

It is ironic to choose a gallery fort his exhibition at Istiklal street where adjacencies and oppositions are highly permeable, coding and decoding, significance and insignificance occur fast. Don’t forget to visit Akbank Art Center until 6th of march to see one of the most important figure of contemporary art in the world, if you have a choice…

Alper Karabatak
1 February 2010


Canan Şenol known as criticizing the ameliorating and normalizing role of channels and the domination and possession of the power sources on individuals with a feminist position, focusing on the basis of patriarchal, religious and political factors shaping the daily life, continues to meet the audience with her new solo exhibition ‘Even a Cat Has a Mustache’ opened in 21st of January at Gallery X-ist. In this exhibition an animation video called ‘Vakvak Tree’, consists of images establishing a relationship between present time and near future of Turkey which is also a referral to the past, a seven work insisted series called ‘ ‘Perfect Beauty’ and also miniatures used in the video-legend “Exemplary” that was shown in the previous Biennial of Istanbul.

The artist problematizes the repression of marriage and family, commodification of woman body in political and religious means and orientalization, as her previous works and the works in this exhibition, criticizing the sexist compulsion hided behind modernity and beliefs and working about the relationship among gender, societal power and control over women body.

The artist, by meeting us as a ‘ravi’ (story teller) called in traditional Eastern tales, where she uses the tale term meaning of a memory transfer and a verbal history of memory, congregates the reality in tales and the epic in reality, and creates a milieu enabling comparison and correlation of present and past, with an expression almost dialectic while dealing with circularity of object and time.

In her work called “Exemplary”, which is an archeological dig of a culture left to conservative groups, miniature was used to realize the atmosphere getting the expression sincere and to structure the association of traditional and modern while comparing of them, and the history imprinted on societal memory was expressed objectively.

The miniatures in this exhibition, highlight the infinity of her multi-conceptual-layers, referring the adaptation of traditional art form, which are selected among the originals resembling with classical Ottoman miniatures and calligraphy used in the video before, comes up the context of women sticking between traditions and modernity in society, drown in tension of secular values, conservatism and institutional religions sensitivities.

Probably being shown for the last time in Turkey, creates a suggestion about not to miss, ‘Exemplary’ work, for which people took place in a queue to see when it was shown in previous biennial will be exhibited in Pompidou in “Turquie et Alors…” at 29th of March (with her work ‘Hicap’ exhibited in 2007 Garanti Platform before) with the Works of Köken Ergun, Erkan Özgen, Şener Özmen and Berat Işık.
Artist’s new legend ‘Vakvak Tree’, similar with Exemplary, consists of miniatures and images belong to recent Turkey history, taking its name from the legendary tree hat grows in hell and has human heads as fruits, according to Islamic mythology and also given its name to an important historical event in 1656, a public execution for quelling an internal uprising of Janissary soldiers, correlates the Ottoman History and the recent Turkish historical events as military strikes with a documentary styled expression.

‘Hünsa’ (the Woman with Testicles), the work created with the inspire by the story of Sultan Halife becoming the sheikh and the starting point of the exhibition’s name, examines the use of normalization and legitimization in patriarchal structure through a sample story shaped with the identification of the consideration of a woman as strong and successful depends her masculinity.

A seven Works involved series called ‘Perfect Beauty’, exhibited in Scope Basel 2009 before, interrogates the mutuality of body politics and the other political aspects, signalizes the masculine point of view behind the opposition of present and past beauty definitions.

This important and rare solo exhibition firstly arranged in X-ist, displaying the different formed Works of the artist, known by her Works shown at biennials, art fairs and group exhibitions and curator of the exhibition ‘Unfair Stimulation’ arranged in Hafriyat Karakoy, can be seen until 13th of February.

Alper Karabatak
27 January 2010


Ali Kazma is known by his documentary and short films and academic career, besides who is one of the most internationally important figure in video art after the 7th biennial of Istanbul in 2001 as a jumping point of his artistic career, had began in 1999 with solo and joint exhibitions. Artist’s works (6 video and a wall installation) have been meeting with the audience by his new exhibition in Yapı Kredi Kazım Taşkent Art Gallery some of which are exhibited in different cities such as Milan or Lille, all of which are the components of the same series has created since 2005 after the same named work’s (Obstructions) display in the 10th biennial of Istanbul in the IMC hall.

Ali Kazma paraphrased in one of his interviews that the name of the exhibition is arisen from the human’ s obstructing efforts such as tooling, fixing or maintaining attempted to keep together the world predisposed to retrogress, float to chaos, disappear, and die.

The artist, according to Emre Baykal, curator of the exhibition, is exploring the tense equilibrium between order and chaos, between life and death, probing the attempt by humankind to keep together the world it inhabits, a world which is always threatening to break up and vanish, and strives to understand what that production (in varied forms) means in the context of human nature, developed in the course of this attempts.

The exhibition consists of six video works named as Brain Surgeon, Today, Household Goods Factory, Jean Factory, Dance Company and Ruins in Reverse and a wall installation, named Time Notes, which has been keeping the formation record of artistic creation process of the artist since 2005, by jotted and hand-written time-codes. A single reading is applicable to the every single piece of the works which has different rhythms where the strong visual and conceptual relationship between these pieces due to rhythmic similarity structured by the artist also enables a stratified reading of the whole context. Every single work can be negated as inter-independence to be affirmed concomitantly in a higher level where some of them are flowing in harmony and the others are conflicting each other, in a candid, unconcealed and reasonable manner.

The video, named “Today” is a reproduction of the same named old work of the artist created in 2005 due to collaging the enriched and enlarged production ways. When it was displayed in Istanbul Pedestrian Exhibitions 2, the work had been kept the everyday visual record of Karakoy and Tunel, calling the attention to the production personally unnoticeable but continuously ongoing in public sphere due to videos 1 to 3 minutes long imaging micro-production in variable rhythm and configuration. The new version which is also a starting point of this series, besides, examines the humanity’s impulse to convert, maintain and construct of own and nature and the meaning of this impulse in human nature.

Dance Company, showed in Lille before, is being laid out in Turkey in first, which is displaying the scenes taken in Zeynep Tanbay Dance Project’s rehearsals and performances in 2009. Furthermore, Ruins in Reverse while not part of this series, is being laid out at this exhibition in first, looms large as a work which shows the constant alternation between order and chaos, being and nothingness, life and death.

The Artist, for his works went into a number of places, where carry out production/repair/creation; a surgery, steel mill, slaughterhouse, design studio, watch repair shop in Dolmabahce Palace, textile mill or household goods factory to examine the efficiency, value and capacity of humankind to convert and produce, through different techniques and materials of production.

The Artist is performing Works focusing on the ways that individuals or groups tried to create order and meaning in their lives and for their environment with a referral to the importance of humankind’ s activities or exertions and to the significance of economics, production and social organizations, by considering the common activities of production abstractly in a pictorial matter. He is also enables a reading of production through conversion of oppositions and discrepancies of existing but principally invisible circumstances of daily life, while examining the borders of humanity, relationship structured between human and nature in terms of conversion and ascendance, control positioned as learned, monotonous, and unexceptional.

The viewer questioning the humans’ nature and the limits of power, will be like Nietzsche when experiencing the individuals’ insignificance of negation and will to power in total value, or will accompany to Camus in the fight with death devoted to reach the rule and meaning of life as a human has seen the real substance and the clues of creation in examination of common reasons of life.

After this successful exhibition in Galatasaray, as a viewer, we will able to understand the expressing language and the world mentioned by the artist with the book that will be published by Yapi Kredi Publishing in February and will contain the texts of the curator Emre Baykal and the Assistant Professor Suna Ertugrul from Bogazici University written about the artist’s Works, until exploring the frontiers of humans’ production language ruling the object, in a different exhibition displaying the missing or new created Works of this series.

Alper Karabatak
25 January 2010