DORMANT STATES OF THE AWAKENED MOVEMENTS
Artists: Sena Başöz, Didem Erbaş, TUNCA, Merve Ünsal, Yoğunluk
Curator: Sinan Eren Erk
22.02.2024 – 04.05.2024
Focusing on video artworks, Bilsart is hosting the exhibition “Dormant States of the Awakened Movements” from February 22 to May 4, 2024. The exhibition presents the works of Sena Başöz, Didem Erbaş, TUNCA, Merve Ünsal and Yoğunluk, curated by Sinan Eren Erk, on the ground floor of Bilsart.
Dormant States of the Awakened Movements aims to offer a perspective that examines the different ways in which the concept of movement manifests in our lives, while suggesting the physical, intellectual or emotional meanings hidden in the fluid nature of movement that go beyond the first reflexive identification. Through the works of five artists, the exhibition invites the viewer to explore how even the simple actions of everyday life change over time, what they imply and the emotional traces they leave in our lives.
“Movement houses a poetry beyond what is sometimes attributed to it. Every movement – whether it comes to life in the shifting of continents or in the voices of mothers who search for and commemorate their lost ones every weekend in front of a historic high school building – contains within it other possibilities, light as smoke, volatile but intense, always dormant, waiting to be awakened. The meanings hidden within the movement that we think is self-evident complement its paradoxical character and express a meaning where definitions are not clear, where borders are not solidified. Only in such a gaze does movement find its true identity; it seeps out of the shell of frozen, fixed, established perceptions and prejudices shaped by cultural codes and attains its natural state, fluidity.” (Excerpt from the exhibition text)
The exhibition brings a curatorial selection of works by Sena Başöz, TUNCA, Yoğunluk, Didem Erbaş, Didem Erbaş, and Merve Ünsal, to the exhibition space, discussing the social and political readings hidden within the movement through the relationships between the works. From the ordinary actions of daily life to the depths of the past and the future, Dormant States of the Awakened Movements aims to question the different aspects of the artists’ lives that are waiting to be awakened in the depths of the weave of meaning shaped by the references they give to each other from different times or places.
ABOUT SENA BAŞÖZ
Working with different media, Sena Başöz’s works seek ways of interacting with the unattainable and experimentally revitalizing what is considered frozen-dead-timeworn-lost while exploring healing. The artist often works with archives, the only tangible material between life and death. She focuses on the definitions and practices of “care and concern” in a broad sense. The self-repair of the organism and the long-term stabilization of nature form the backbone of this narrative. Recent work explores the body as an archive and movement as a means of revitalization.
Recent solo exhibitions and performances include “Inevitable Choreography”, Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul (2023); “Possibilities of Healing”, Yapı Kredi Culture, Arts and Publishing, Istanbul (2023); “Slalom”, Wellcome Collection, London (2022); “Clam”, Matsutake at Librairie Yvon Lambert, Paris (2021); “Ars Oblivionis”, Lotsremark Projekte, Basel (2020); “Hold on Let go”, and MO-NO-HA Seongsu, Seoul (2020). Her group exhibitions include “There is Nothing Inevitable about Time”, TAVROS, Athens (2022); “Transitorische Turbulenzen, Kunstraum Dreiviertel”, Bern (2020); “Studio Bosphorus”, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2018); “Quiet Dialogue”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (2018) and “Sharjah Biennial Offsite Exhibition: BAHAR”, Istanbul (2017).
In 2002, she received her BA in Economics from Boğaziçi University and her MA in Film and Video from Bard College Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in 2010. She participated in residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts Paris (2017), Atelierhaus Salzamt Linz (2010) and Delfina Foundation London (2020-2022). The artist lives and works in Istanbul.
ABOUT DİDEM ERBAŞ
Didem Erbaş is born, lives and works in Istanbul. She uses installation, painting, photography and video in her work. In her work, she is interested in socio-political issues in Turkey, the geography where she lives. Geography, shelter, tracing and the transformation of spaces are her focus. Architectural structures and changing perspectives as well as human sanctions on nature are the main themes of her work. He utilizes new materialist thought when constructing spaces without human beings. Rivers, green spaces or animals destroyed by human hands are at the center of her current working practice.
Born in 1982 in Izmir, TUNCA graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Painting. Since the early 2000s, TUNCA has been concerned with the transcendence of ideological constructs and historical glorification of social and political events, and has a multifaceted practice ranging from drawing to sculpture, video and performance. Moving between the layers of ‘memory’ from official histories to individual stories, the artist frames the phenomenon of testimony beyond documentarism and signification. The photographic documents he uses merge with the artist’s subjective memory and are then transferred onto paper with charcoal, another chemical residue. The artist’s research-oriented practice is concerned with historiography, excavating, reconstructing and revitalizing the past.
Parallel to the 9th Istanbul Biennial, in the performance titled “Floating Slum”, the artist spends a week in a floating slum that he and Guido Casaretto built in the Golden Horn and documents this process. The artist participated in the residency programs of Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2017, Artpost Tel Aviv in Tel Aviv in 2018 and Saha Studio of Saha Association in Istanbul in 2022.
Since 2014, he has realized performances on Borscht, Aşure, Boyoz, etc. in the context of gastronomy and art, and used Mantı in his drawings for the 17th Istanbul Biennial. In 2013, he started his culinary performances with the Cookery Training she received from Doors Academy and he has also performed in the guest artist programs he participated in. The artist continues to work and live in Ayvalık.
ABOUT MERVE ÜNSAL
Merve Ünsal is an artist who lives and works in Istanbul. She works around methods of tuning in. She thinks through the media of photography, video, radio, sound, performance, and site-specific installations. She has shown her work in a variety of contexts across the world, most often through artist-driven initiatives in Beirut, Berlin, Cairo, New Delhi, Toronto; she has been supported by the Delfina Foundation (London), Praksis (Oslo), Fogo Island Arts, Art Metropole (Toronto), and University of Delaware (Lewes) to participate in artist residencies. She took part in the learning program at Ashkal Alwan (Beirut), Homework Space in 2014-2015. Merve is the founding editor of the artist-centered platform m-est.org. She co-facilitated the Arter Research Programme, 2019-2021.
Yoğunluk was founded in 2013 by İsmail Eğler, Nil Aynalı, Elif Tekir, Nezih Vargeloğlu. The main motivation of the initiative is to investigate spaces with unique qualities and to construct an artistic experience specific to these spaces. Each work is shaped by the qualities and potentials of spaces with their own characteristics. Therefore, the experience varies from space to space. The initiative does not see the space as a container independent of the work, but as a constitutive element of the artwork. In doing so, it aims to give the visitor an experience on the axis of time by using atmosphere-creating materials such as sound, light and fog. Density focuses on constructions that relate to the existence of space and reveal its potential qualities in various ways. This attitude also creates an intense relationship with the material and reminds us of the world as we have forgotten how to perceive it. The perception of space takes place not only in the eye, but in the whole body and that which cannot be limited by the body. A fiction that appeals not only to the eye of the visitor but to all the senses that make them human emerges.
ABOUT SİNAN EREN ERK
He was born in Istanbul in 1985. He completed his secondary and high school education at Galatasaray High School, his BA in Economics at Marmara University and his MA in Curatorial Studies and Visual Arts at NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano. At the 12th Istanbul Biennial he worked as an assistant curator, at Documenta 13 as a participant/speaker and at the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial he worked as an assistant curator at Adhocracy in Milano. Erk continues to work as an independent curator and art writer in national and international projects, writes, edits and translates for artist books, catalogs, print and online media, and participates in interviews as a speaker or moderator. Erk, who publishes the podcast and weekly newsletter “Sanat Dedikleri Tuhaf Şey”, is a member of the International Association of Art Critics AICA Turkey.