“Not Easy, to Save the World in 90 Days”


“Born in Batman”: Gallerygoers have surely cracked a grin at this line on wall labels for Fikret Atay’s work. In the video Batman vs. Batman, 2009, Atay has finally addressed the comical name of his hometown, situated near Turkey’s border with Iraq. The video features Hüseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman, as a superhero who takes David Nolan and Warner Bros. to court over the ownership of the name Batman—hoping to invest the winnings to ameliorate social problems in the downtrodden Turkish town, an enterprise doomed to failure. Atay sheds light on the local politics and problems of southeastern Turkey, a region that seems to have nothing to lose. Such are the sorts of issues addressed in “Not Easy, to Save the World in 90 Days” at the project space Tanas, founded by René Block to showcase the production of critical art in Turkey, and, in the case of this exhibition, above all outside of

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