An Invitation to Change Your Perspective
The galerist Moiz Zilberman. © Kayhan Kaygusuz
A bed sheet smeared with blood, a doll with a veil, and a bloody wedding dress.
That was back in 2014, when the Zilberman gallery exhibited works by Şükran Morals, one of Turkey’s most radical artists, for the first time in a country dominated by Erdoğan’s censorship policies. The artist’s works were a reaction to the Constitutional Court’s decision that sex between adults and twelve- to fifteen-year-olds no longer automatically counts as child abuse. The exhibition was called “Welcome to Turkey.”
Heba Y. Amins „Atom Elegy“, 2022. © Zilberman, Istanbul/Berlin
Moiz Zilberman’s gallery, which presents international contemporary artists, is one of three Istanbul-based galleries represented at this year’s ART COLOGNE.
Zilberman builds a bridge between Turkey and Germany: in 2008 he founded his gallery in Istanbul, and eight years later a second location in Berlin. The two cities are very dissimilar, he says, with one difference being limitations of Turkish art institutions and government support.
Critical voices focus on current world events
Sim Chi Yins „Stanley R Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, North Dakota“ from the series „Most People Were Silent“ (2017). © Zilberman, Istanbul/Berlin
The gallery’s programme includes several critical artists with a socio-political bent, though not all of them are as radical as Şükran Moral.
In Cologne, the gallery’s focus includes atomic experiments and the far-reaching effects of radioactive fallout. Zilberman is showing the installation “Atom Elegy” (2022) by Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin and Sim Chi Yi’s pigment prints from the series titled “Most People Were Silent” (2017), for which the Malaysian artist created a series of diptychs of nuclear landscapes on the border between North Korea and China and in the United States.
Social norms on the test bench
Also represented at ART COLOGNE is the Öktem Aykut gallery, which is exhibiting in the Collaborations sector together with the Philipp Zollinger gallery from Switzerland.
Founded in 2014 by Doğa Öktem and Tankut Aykut, the gallery works with Turkish and international artists who share a critical approach to contemporary social conditions. Following an exhibition of works by Renée Levi and Janiv Oron in Istanbul, and Renée Levi’s solo exhibition “Désirée,” which runs until 5 November, the gallery is now showing a solo presentation of works Levi, who was born in Istanbul in 1960 and grew up in the Swiss Canton of Aargau, within the framework of the art fair.
Gallery Dirimart shows international positions
The program of Istanbul’s Dirimart gallery, founded in 2002 by Hazer Özil, includes artists from Turkey, as well as German and international greats such as Karin Kneffel, Shirin Neshat, and Hermann Nitsch.
At ART COLOGNE, the contemporary gallery will present works by Ayşe Erkmen, Nasan Tur, and the artist duo Özlem Günyol and Mustafa Kunt. Nasan Tur, born in Offenbach, Germany, in 1974, invites self-reflection: the shapes of his mirror works titled “Eurofighter” (2021) are based on designs of paper fighter planes. Reflective surfaces are arranged so that viewers perceive multiple versions of the works. With the folding games, the artist questions the roles ascribed to children from an early age and their unconscious preparation for war and violence.
An invitation to change your perspective.
Text: Lisa-Marie Berndt