“Anyone Could Be a Sculptor One Day”

Spot Production Fund
Elhamra Han
September 20, 2014–November 16, 2014

5Harfliler, I'm Off, 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Amid the Elhamra Han’s textile shops and tea houses is an unexpected haven for contemporary art: First- and second-floor rooms have become an exhibition space whose windows look inward into the building’s courtyard emporium or outward onto İstiklal Avenue, as if a call for art to engage with the city. Each room houses one of the seven commissioned, predominantly installation-based works (all works 2014) by a range of artists, curators, and editors. Exploring complex narratives between production, power, and the writing of history, this interdisciplinary and dynamic exhibition builds dialogue with the site and beyond.

Curated by Zeynep Öz, the exhibition includes I’m Off by feminist online publication 5Harfliler. Pondering the ways women can evade responsibilities, words, and gazes, the installation features so-called escape bags: A pink backpack and two leather bags appear among domestic furnishings, alongside a publication with photographs of the bags holding objects such as a clock, a glass of wine, and a bra. Meanwhile, Tel-e-gen-ic, a book by Özge Ersoy and Bikem Ekberzade with Thomas Keenan, compiles texts investigating how quick, technology-driven dissemination of images propagates contemporary histories while shaping our conscience. Merve Ertufan’s podcasts present moderated conversations between professionals and amateurs in various fields in a sound installation, Side By Side, while Merve Ünsal’s video trilogy, Three States of Water, documents experiments with the liquid, stimulating discussion on materiality and process. Part of the independent curatorial project SPOT’s event series concentrating on the local cultural public sphere, the exhibition suggests “sculpture” as a means to reflect on cultural production as a form of political action.

L. İpek Ulusoy Akgül