Art Talk: Çağrı Saray & Ayça Telgeren

Çağrı Saray’s exhibition entitled “Kadıköy Escape Routes” can be seen at Bilsart between the dates of October 5 – 15, 2022.

Escape Routes is an algorithm pertaining to the city. It may have been made in different geographies, in different forms, in different structures, and with different functions in mind. Sometimes it is a passage, sometimes it is a specific architectural analysis of that city, and sometimes it is a street or path. Each shortcut contains cultural codes for that city, it exists to serve the urbanite. It needs to be explored and while it’s very practical for everyday use along with its many functions, it has vital importance when it comes to “extraordinary” situations (and “extraordinary” state of emergencies).

The exhibition entitled “Kadıköy Escape Routes” consists of a two-channel video installation, two drawings depicting the entrance areas of one of the escape points in the video, and a map. In the videos, the entrance and exit of a male and a female figure from each escape point are observed by the audience. The video acts as a documentation of the process that two people experience by walking toward each other. Based on the concept of psycho-geography, these frames of entrances and exits are confined to that moment, that specific period in that specific frame. They act as a guide for a potential user. Anyone in Kadıköy can pass through these shortcuts, passages, and streets. Anyone could escape via these routes or hide at these points.

Two paintings in the exhibition showcase one of the most important arcades representing the region: the Akmar Arcade (originally known as “Akmar Pasajı”). The layered application frequently used in Çağrı Saray’s paintings points to an act of remembering the memory of the spaces. The exits and entrances that are not fully coded in the moving image are depicted in these paintings. The flowing movement created by the experience of walking is depicted with distortion to a certain extent on the two-dimensional plane.

The map delignated for the exhibition takes its place on the wall as a diagram. This map acts as a guide that takes the living spaces of Saray (in the axis of his house and workshop) as a starting point and fully describes all escape points on a singular line. The same map is reproduced to be utilized by the audience.

Parallel to the exhibition at Bilsart, the single-channel version of the video will be showcased at the Kefeli Arcade (originally known as the Kefeli Pasajı) in Kadıköy-Moda on the days and times determined by Outro Music. (This is one of the arcades shown on the map and also in the video.)

Special thanks to the dearest Ayça Telgeren, the partner in crime of this video, for all her efforts! Last but not least, I would like to state my deepest gratitude to Outro Müzik and Vision Art Platfrom for their support to this project!


1979 born in Istanbul, lives and works in İstanbul

Prof. in Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts.

15 Solo Exhibitions since 2001 including “Places with Suitable Temperatures” (2020, Vision Art Platform, Istanbul, Turkey) “Der Himmel Über Berlin” (2018, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey), ”Spaces of Memory” (2017, Jönkopings Lans Museum, Jönkoping, Sweden), “Threshold of Forgetting” (2017, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey), “Diminishing Time” (2015, Primary Greek School, Istanbul, Turkey), “Outsider” (2015, Kuad Gallery, Istanbul Turkey), “Grey Corridor” (2013, Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris, France), “4/12: Topography of a House” (2011, Daire Gallery, İstanbul, Turkey), “Memory Boxes-1” (2001, Atatürk Library, İstanbul, Turkey).

Selected Group Exhibitions among 100 local and international exhibitions including “ReVisions” (2021, ICA Sofia, Sophia, Bulgaria), “Appropriation? Hal mi?” (2018, Yapı Kredi Cultural Activities and Art, Istanbul, Turkey), “4th.Mardin Biennial” (2018, Alman Karargahı, Istanbul, Turkey), “Prevantorium” (2018, Kasa Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey), “Home” (2017, Evliyagil Museum, Ankara, Turkey), “Past, in Each of its Moments, be Citable”, (2016, Depo, Tophane, Istanbul, Turkey), “Raptures and Convergences” (2014, Kuad Gallery, İstanbul, Turkey), “3rd International Çanakkale Biennial” (2012, Çanakkale, Turkey), “Where Fire Has Struck” (2011, Depo, İstanbul, Turkey), Dirty Story, (2009, BM Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey).