Letter From IstanbulLetter From Istanbul Fri 16 Jun 2017 to Mon 17 Jul 2017
Nancy Atakan, Didem Erbaş, Neslihan Koyuncu, Fatih Pınar, Özlem Sarıyıldız, Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Curated by Morgan Quaintance
Pi Artworks London presents Letter from Istanbul, a multi-part exhibition curated by London-based curator Morgan Quaintance.
This is the final exhibition of Pi Artworks London’s Curatorial Season that runs from October 2016 to July 2017 and brings together the work of Nancy Atakan, Didem Erbaş, Neslihan Koyuncu, Fatih Pınar, Özlem Sarıyıldız and Andrea Luka Zimmerman. A daylong symposium of talks and screenings featuring these artists, writers and activists will follow on July 8th, in London.
Inspired in part by British broadcaster Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America, a series of radio essays on American history, current affairs and politics, Letter from Istanbul is a group exhibition as dispatch, a project that takes a look at art, culture, history and politics in the city of Istanbul. Rather than an essentialist survey of the metropolis and its artists, the exhibition presents a snapshot of projects, people and the histories and institutions structuring aspects of their socio-cultural present.
In order to create a space in which contemporary art and reportage coexist, the display features information regarding the social and political currents charging the city (photographs, video, media materials, etc.) alongside artworks. Another major influence on the development of this approach has been Turkish author Ece Temelkuran’s Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy (2015), a book that offers an impressionistic exploration of the country through a deeply personal and essayistic inventory of objects, national events and personal encounters.
In addition to the exhibition, curator Morgan Quaintance has produced a documentary featuring interviews with cultural producers in the city, shot over two weeks during the recent referendum. This film will be available online during the exhibition and accompanied by two radio programmes of interviews with sociologists and theorists discussing queer sexualities, women’s voice talk shows, current party politics, crime and the neoliberal city in Turkey. The latter will be broadcasted on June 7th and July 5th on Resonance 104.4FM.
Morgan Quaintance is a London-based writer, musician, broadcaster and curator. Born in South London, he is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, and has written for The Guardian, The Wire, Art Review, Frieze, Rhizome.org, and a number of curatorial sites and blogs. He is a contributing editor for E-Flux’s online publishing portal Art Agenda, is a founding member of the curatorial collective DAM PROJECTS, and was the 2015/16 curatorial fellow at Cubitt Gallery, London. He is also the producer of Studio Visit, a monthly hour-long interviews-based programme, broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM, featuring international contemporary artists as guests.
Nancy Atakan, b. 1946 Major exhibitions include Sporting Chances (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2016); Little Faces, Big Bodies, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Stay With Me, Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Germany (2015); 40 videos from 40 years of video art in Turkey, 25th Ankara International Film Festival, Goethe Institute, Turkey (2014); Me, Myself and I: ME as a Dilemma, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey (2013); The Armory Show (curated by The Moving Image), New York, USA (2012); and Dream and Reality – Modern and Contemporary Women Artists from Turkey, Istanbul Modern, Turkey (2011).
Didem Erbaş, b.1985 Major exhibitions include Urban Obscura, Siyah Beyaz Gallery, Ankara, Turkey (2017), You and Me, 5533, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Utilitarian efforts, non- Utilitarian works, Mars Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); give me SOLACE, Schau Fenster, Berlin, Germany (2016); Artist Room, Tomtom Gardens, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); BordersOrbits 18, DEPO, İstanbul, Turkey (2016); Quest for the Lost Time (solo), KRUG Art Movement, Kardzhali, Bulgaria (2015); Studies on Photobook, Mixer Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); and Take it or Leave it, Merkür Gallery, İstanbul, Turkey (2015).
Neslihan Koyuncu Major exhibitions include HABITAT, Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); Surplus, REM Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey (2016); The Day Before Tomorrow, Pilot Galeri, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Siemens’ Borders and Orbits 15-16, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Hanaden (solo), Fass Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2014), and Istanbul-O-Matic by Pattu Architecture, Istanbul Design Biennale, Turkey (2012).
Fatih Pınar, b.1974 works as an independent photojournalist and video activist. His career as a photo reporter started at Atlas Magazine in 1994 where he produced reports on social and political issues mainly in Eastern Turkey and Middle East. He continued his practice making short documentaries for NTVMSNBC, Bianet, T24, and BBC Türkçe. His latest projects include Silopi After the Curfew, Şırnak, Turkey (2016); 12. Gay Pride, İstanbul, Turkey (2014); The Protest for Soma Massacre, İstanbul, Turkey (2014); May 1st, İstanbul, Turkey (2014).
Andrea Luka Zimmerman, b. 1969 is an artist, activist and filmmaker. She is the co-founder of the artists’ collectives Vision Machine and Fugitive Images and was the winner of the Artangel Open Award 2014 for her collaborative feature Cycle with Adrian Jackson (Cardboard Citizens). Her films have been nominated for the Grierson Award, The Aesthetica Art Prize, the Golden Orange, the Jarman Award, and the Glashuette most original documentary award at the Berlin Film Festival (2017), among others. Exhibitions and projects include Common Ground, Spike Island, Bristol, UK (2017), Real Estates (co-curated), PEER in association with LUX, London, UK (2015).
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
Morgan Quaintance, Letter from Istanbul, 2017, video still (detail)
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