The exhibition focuses on the present and also on the past of modern art, bringing together a selection of objects, such as calligraphies, miniatures, stained glass, textiles, tombaks, and carpets. Return to Reason - 12th Video Programe xplores the issues of reason and lack thereof; the apparent different rationale of early surrealist films; the pre-eminence of the ID in human matters.
İstanbul Modern’s new Exhibition, “From Traditional to Contemporary: Cultural Memory in Modern Turkish Art”, will open in February 2010. Focusing on the relationship between art and the traditional, the Exhibition seeks to show how artists employ history in their construction of modernism. Curated by İstanbul Modern’s chief Curator Levent Çalıkoğlu, “From Traditional to Contemporary: Cultural Memory in Modern Turkish Art“ will be a exhibition in which modern and contemporary artists will take part. These are the artists who reinterpret information, which is traditional, in the context of a new language of expression.
“From Traditional to Contemporary: Cultural Memory in Modern Turkish Art” will consist of works by the following artists: Erol Akyavaş, İsmet Doğan, İnci Eviner, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Selma Gürbüz, Ergin İnan, Balkan Naci İslimyeli, Murat Morova, and Ekrem Yalçındağ. Held in the Temporary Exhibitions Hall, the show will include works by the participating artists, from their different periods, and in disciplines ranging from Video to Painting and from Installation Art to Photography.
“From Traditional to Contemporary: Cultural Memory in Modern Turkish Art” will be focusing on the present and also on the past of modern art, bringing together a selection of objects, such as calligraphies, miniatures, stained glass, textiles, tombaks, and carpets. By juxtaposing these with the arts of Painting, Sculpture, Photography, and Installation, the Exhibition will encourage viewers to establish visual and conceptual relationships between works of art, on the one hand, and history and culture, on the other.
Return to Reason
12th Video Program
17 February 2010 – 23 May 2010
Return to Reason takes its name from the 1923 film by Man Ray, Le retour à la raison. Like in Man Ray’s film, there is no return and, most of all, no reason in his Dada pronunciation. This program explores the issues of reason and lack thereof; the apparent different rationale of early surrealist films; the pre-eminence of the ID in human matters; “reason” as a God-given right to impose one’s culture and influence in a military fashion. As Man Ray’s experimental short indicates, reason can be pretext for all human actions, but it is only a pretext.
The work of Samuel Beckett, Christoph Büchel, Bruce Nauman, Man Ray, Hans Richter, Ugo Rondinone, and Lucas Samaras are presented in the video program.
Man Ray (Philadelphia 1890-Paris 1976)
Return to Reason
Return to Reason (1923) is the first experimental film by Man Ray. The film is an early example of Dada anti-aesthetics, favoring spontaneity, chance, and intellectual provocation.
The early segments in the film employ the technique of the camera-less photograph, the so-called “rayograph”, in which the artist places objects directly on light-sensitive paper, which he exposed to light and photographed. In this film, Man Ray extended the technique to the moving image. Additional sequences feature lights at a fairground, a paper mobile, and its shadows as well as the nude torso of his model Kiki de Montparnasse.
Emak Bakia (1926), literally meaning “don’t bother me” in Basque, involves some of the most arresting imagery in the work of Man Ray, and addresses issues of chance, subconscious images, streaming thoughts, dreams and desires. Possibly the story of a woman sleeping (Kiki de Montparnasse), it transposes her conscious experiences into her dreams, interspersing images of contemporary life such as the speeding car, sun bathing, and Charleston dancing, with a retinue of abstract images and objects that transform themselves.
Hans Richter (Berlin 1988-Locarno 1976)
Ghosts Before Breakfast
Hans Richter was one of the foremost experimenters in new media, technique, and film aesthetics between the two world wars. Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928) follows a vortex of objects (hats, collars) that take on a life as real characters, rebelling to the laws of time and space. After a series of puzzling events, the bowler hats in the film find the heads of their rightful owners, and breakfast can be properly served. Richter’s film actually represents a form of “return to reason”: that of things finding their place. Yet, the dada and surrealist spirit of derision and mockery that permeates the film undermines the concept of reason itself. The film originally followed a score for piano by Paul Hindemith, which was destroyed by the Nazi regime in 1933.
Lucas Samaras (Kastoria 1936)
Produced, written and directed by Lucas Samaras, edited and photographed by Kim Levin
Courtesy of the artist and PaceWildenstein, New York
Self (1969) is the only film to date of Lucas Samaras. Active in New York in the early 1960s, Samaras participated to the happenings of Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow, and became one of the leading performance artists of the time. The theme of his work is mainly himself, as exemplified by his “Auto-Interviews”, a series of self-investigatory texts, and his Polaroid photo transformations that feature a re-elaboration of his image. The film Self follows the life of the artist in his studio-house; it hints at his heritage with the 1930s music by Sophia Vemvo, and expresses his subconscious desire to destroy New York.
Samuel Beckett (Dublin 1906–1989)
Performed by Billie Whitelaw
Film made for the BBC
Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He wrote the text of Not I in 1972; and in 1977, Samuel Beckett made a television version of the play for the BBC, interpreted by Billie Whitelaw. The mouth, the only visible thing on the screen, utters a long complaint about a loveless existence and a traumatic incident that took place in the character’s life. The woman has been mute for most of her life; her recitation is one of her few instances when she speaks. She assumes that she has been punished by God and accepts that God does not need “a particular reason” for what He does.
Bruce Nauman (Fort Wayne 1941)
Violent Incident—Man-Woman, Segment
Bruce Nauman (1941) is an American artist whose prime medium is sculpture, and has worked in several other media, such as painting, video, and installation. Violent Incident—Man-Woman, Segment (1986) is the single channel version of the 12 screen installation in the collection of the Tate Gallery in London. In a simple dinner scenario, a practical joke escalates into a violent confrontation between a man and a woman. Often compared to Samuel Beckett, Daniel Birnbaum wrote: “No contemporary artist has worked so intensively with repetitions that turn the minor absurdities of the everyday into something unendurable.”
Ugo Rondinone (Brunnen 1963)
Dog Days Are Over
Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London
Ugo Rondinone (1963) is a New York-based Swiss artist whose work explores themes of desire, longing, sexuality, perception, and madness. He works in an array of media, including painting, video, drawing, installation and sculpture. At first degree, the sight of the sleeping clown might conjure images of childhood, but more appropriately it presents the viewer with the tragedy of the mask bearer, with the fatigue of the artist, and with the prospect of a nightmare: “the sleep of reason produces monsters.”
Christoph Büchel (Brunnen 1963)
The Swiss artist Christoph Büchel (1966) creates complex installations that, from a critical stance, address social and political inequities, and the forces of global capitalism and military hegemony. Merry Christmas (2005) is a loop from an actual repertory video shot in Iraq during the second Gulf War, featuring real soldiers manifesting their own special kind of Christmas cheer.
Handan Senkoken, Tel: + 90 212 243 65 61. Fax: +90 212 243 43 19 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening 17 February 2010
Meclis-i Mebusan Ave., Liman Isletmeleri, Sahasi; Antrepo No:4 Karaköy, Istanbul
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 a.m - 6.00 pm
Thursday: 10.00 p.m - 8.00 p.m
Admission: Adults: 7 TL
Students, groups of over 20 and seniors (65 and older): 3 TL
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Every Thursday: Free