Exhibition from Siemens Sanat. Istanbul, Turkey

Other Worlds /Başka Dünyalar

Siemens Sanat turns a new artistic chapter this season with an exhibition titled 'Other Worlds' (Başka Dünyalar). Curated by Mürteza Fidan and T. Melih Görgün, the exhibition compromises of works by Roza El-Hassan, Tamas Ozsvald and Youssef Tabti. Inviting art lovers and artists alike; the exhibition will take place through the dates September 29, 2010 until November 23, 2010.

When expressing ourselves from a current societal perspective, we are faced with realities such as the decline of social space, the emergence of societal divisions and counter-societal sentiments which result in disruptions within our identity as an individual. How can we protect ourselves against this threat to our existence as an individual? How can we re-structure our identity in subjective and cultural terms? What is being underlined here is not the identity obsession of societies which leads to obscurity and homogeneity in the human mind. This situation legitimates, as a right, the devastating consequences suffered by a majority of the world's population. Therefore it is now clear that healing the spirit of the time does not depend on a search for identity as today we live in a society that consists of more identity fragmentation than ever before.

The main theme of the exhibition is not the communication between cultural or social indicators within the origins of the works. What is essential is to become concious of intercultural differences and to see whether the creative subject can turn self-assesment into a tool for self-awareness. What is essential is not whether the works of the artists are in harmony with each other or in relation to one another, but rather what is of essence is the experience of passing from one work to another,the formation and fragmentation of the works and what kind of stance they engender within the viewer.

The subject can only achieve his own liberation and opacity by utilizing his own feedback and maintaining the most open relationship with himself despite the hectic pace of daily life. Today, the social categories of common life are all intermingled. The main theme of Youssef Tabti's work is to produce new actors to fight the mindset of current depressed and fragmented individuals - experimenting with ideas of self-expression, building new pespectives and thus forming a perceptual landscape by an experimentation involving various relationships.

Tamas Oszvald brings down the walls of a fortress which forces foreigners into cultural blocks, seeking more interconnected paths, he is aware of the cultural differences and his work searches for experimental and social forms that will help turn the indiviudal behavior of the subjects into self-evaluation tools.

Roza El-Hassan argues that the independence of the subject must be protected (even if it leads to loneliness) in the face of a social order that pushes compassion aside and is rife with violence. According to the artist, this is the most meaningful and reliable stance against homogeneity. In the face of an oppressive social order the subject must form close and intimate relationships with others, and in turn, personally accept the necessity of a process of self discovery and prioritize self-development.

We should maintain distance from social categorization, therefore leading the indiviudal away from homogeneity and towards an opportunity to be liberated. Touraine says ''The subject lives in the world but does not belong to the world'' thus the idea of the individual provides a strong weapon against homogeneity. This stance points to the ways in which the lost subject must be reconstructed, and how we may develop ourselves and our defenses against the destruction and fragmentation caused by homogeneity within society.

Mürteza Fidan - Melih Görgün, August 2010

Ansicht der Ausstellung bei Siemens Sanat in Istanbul


23 October 2010, Saturday

Globalization attempted to homogenize everyone, but, at the same time, caused deep alienation and isolation in the world, says one of the show’s curators, Mürteza Fidan. “The content of art can contribute to a new understanding of modernity against this homogenization. Our main issue in this show was to ask what kind of new policies art can suggest. How we are going to find the ‘subject’ again and reconstruct it? New paradigms will go through culture. Cultural relations will be at the center, and all of this is going to happen in the peripheries,” he says, adding that people will witness the emergence of new peripheries outside of Western centers.

The concept of the subject is very important for the show, according to Fidan. “When one individual goes from one cultural environment to another, he or she does not have to be in accordance with the new sphere. The content of the show is built on this. We wanted to have artists from different cultural backgrounds but who also left their initial culture and entered into new ones. How they see themselves in this new culture as a subject was the question on our minds,” he emphasizes. They wanted to see how the works of these artists would affect the audience if they weren’t necessarily placed into a dialog with each other.

For Fidan, the exhibition is an exercise in the construction of the “subject.” “The audience will interact with art pieces from their own cultural background. They would not necessarily have to reconcile with it and, while switching from a piece from a specific culture to another one from another culture, they will experience a rupture. They will themselves become stratified while constructing their own story,” he notes.

Hamburg-based artist Youssef Tabti, of Algerian and French origin, joined the show with several videos and an installation titled “Edvard’s Day -- Waiting for a Promised Time,” which consists of a multimedia photograph and sound installation on the basis of a literary text of the same title by German author Alexander Hausser. “In cooperation with the writer, I have composed a series of seven photographs which are presented together with a reading of the text,” the 42-year-old artist explains, adding that they did not put the photographs on the wall but stacked them on the floor so that the visitors would choose which ones to look at for themselves.

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous novel “Orlando,” which focuses on issues of gender, Tabti’s video titled “Orlando” featuring a portrait of the actress Tonia Christie in which she engages in an internal dialog is also included in the show together with his other videos “H-S. Dear Mom” and “Les Chutes.” The former is on the Hamburg-based, handicapped artist Harald Stoffer and the unsent letters he wrote to his mother, and the latter is consists of digital fragments such as video works, music, text and speech from the artist. “In this show, I exhibit videos from different periods, so it is a little bit retrospective. I will showcase my other works at 5533’s space in İstanbul in November,” he explains.

“Other Worlds” runs through Nov. 23 at the Siemens Art Gallery.