Chisenhale Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in a UK institution and a major new commission by Istanbul-based artist Banu Cennetoğlu.
Cennetoğlu’s work incorporates methods of mapping, collecting and archiving in order to question and challenge the politics of memory, as well as the distribution and consumption of information. Working with installation, image production and printed matter, Cennetoğlu often works over extended periods of time, inviting individuals and institutions to participate in the development and realisation of her projects.
For her commission at Chisenhale Gallery, Cennetoğlu is producing a major new moving image installation presented in Chisenhale’s exhibition hall. In conjunction with her installation at the gallery Cennetoğlu is also working on an offsite presentation of The List, which will be distributed to UK audiences for the first time.
Compiled and updated each year by UNITED for Intercultural Action, The List traces information relating to the deaths of more than 33,000 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives within, or on the borders of Europe since 1993. Since 2007, in collaboration with art workers and institutions, Cennetoğlu has facilitated up-to-date and translated versions of The List using public spaces such as billboards, bus stops and newspapers. Co-commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Liverpool Biennial, The List will be distributed across public sites, both in print and online, in London and Liverpool during summer 2018.
In response to The List’s attempt to record profound loss and Cennetoğlu’s ongoing ‘distribution’ of the document, Cennetoğlu is producing a new moving image work that inverts attention to her own subjectivity and to the impossibility of complete categorisation of one’s own, and others’ lives.
Presented at Chisenhale Gallery, Cennetoğlu’s new work maps her personal archive of digital images and videos sourced from various devices, including her mobile phones, computers, cameras and external hard drives, from March 2006 to March 2018. Starting from 2006 – one year before Cennetoğlu first publicly displayed The List – the work presents a rolling stream of unedited content, presented in a linear, non-hierarchical format. The work traces over a decade of personal, social and political change from, for example, the banality of life’s small moments to the birth of Cennetoğlu’s daughter, to multiple protests in Istanbul, to rituals, ceremonies and cemeteries. In presenting an accumulation of digital images and videos sourced over the past ten years, the work also documents shifts within image production and circulation.
Produced in parallel with one another, both The List and Cennetoğlu’s new moving image work explore intimate and shared experiences of life and death and the responsibility inherent to recording these experiences. Urged by the cumulative weight of loss, and the fragile capacity to face it, Cennetoğlu’s new commission at Chisenhale Gallery invites audiences to consider their own relationship to memory, ownership and belonging.
Banu Cennetoğlu (b. 1970, Ankara, Turkey) lives and works in Istanbul. Previous solo exhibitions include: Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2015); Gentle Madness, Rodeo, London (2014); and Guilty feet have got no rhythm, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2011). Selected group exhibitions include: Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); documenta (14), Athens and Kassel; The Restless Earth, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (both 2017); 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010); 53rd Venice Biennale/Pavilion of Turkey (2009); 3rd Berlin Biennale (2008); and 1st Athens Biennale and 10th Istanbul Biennale (both 2007).