C24 Gallery is pleased to present Border, an exhibition of new works by İrfan Önürmen marking the artist's first solo exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey in seven years. Border will be on view at the 1st and 2nd floor of Galata Rum Okulu, Istanbul from May 18 - June 30 2018, with an opening reception on Friday, May 18, from 6-9pm.
In Border, Önürmen examines the concept of borders both as geographic boundary markers as well as the metaphoric lines created between public and private spaces. He brings together themes of humanitarian aid, the refugee experience, and the formation of cultural and personal identities. He asks the viewer to consider the real life situations of displaced refugees who have not only fled their homes and the regular routines of their lives, but who have also left behind their national identities, memories, and experiences and are now looking towards a future that is very uncertain.
Önürmen's dynamic works are products of a diverse and experimental working process. The exhibition features paintings, reliefs, and works made from multiple media such as tulle and concrete. Önürmen references the border experience with molds and reproductions of common items found in tent cities: fast food containers and products, as well as industrial spare parts. These items are a nod toward the duality of a consumer culture which not only provides aid, but also fuels the crises from which many flee.
A highlight of the exhibition is an installation of a tent city made of concrete sculptures entitled Border. (Tent cities are temporary housing solutions set up at various countries’ borders which provide relief for refugees fleeing their homes for political reasons). A feat of mathematical precision, the sculptures are uniformly lined up, and anonymous. The installation becomes a kind of memorial, leaving the viewer to consider the person who is meant to inhabit the represented space, the personal histories they have left behind in an effort to survive, and questions the conditions they live in.
In it's whole, the exhibition masterfully brings together concrete sculptures, paintings and reliefs, tulle works, burnt bagels and other materials creating a ‘destruction museum' for humankind, which is ultimately advancing to its doom.
b. 1958 Bursa, Turkey Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey
İrfan Önürmen's graduated from the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy (now known as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), Department of Painting, in 1987. His work reveals the relationships and discrepancies between personal and public experience as seen through the lens of contemporary media. Önürmen addresses the impact of mass media on human experience and its visual representation through collage, painting, and sculpture. His selected exhibitions include “9 Contemporary Turkish Painters,” Brussels, Belgium, in 2004; “Made in Turkey,” Kulturdezernat der Stadt, Frankfurt, Germany, in 2008; “New Baghdad Museum and Terror Factory,” Thessaloniki Contemporary State Art Museum, Greece, in 2009; the 10th Istanbul Biennial; “6 positions in critical art from Istanbul,” Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg, Berlin, in 2009. His recent solo shows include “Gaze” at Pi Artworks Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011; “Dis-order” at Katara Art Center in Doha, Qatar in 2012, “Pendulum” at C24 Gallery, New York, USA and in 2016 and‘’Gaze’’ at Aria Gallery, Florence, Italy.
Önürmen’s work has been exhibited at several international art fairs including The Armory Show and Art Dubai in 2012, PULSE New York, in 2013 and Volta NY in 2017.
The artist’s works are in numerous private and public collections including Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, Leon Black Collection, United States.
Galata Rum Okulu, Kemeraltı Cad. No 25, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Visiting Days and Hours:
Tue - Fri : 11:00 - 18:00
Sat- Sun: 11:00 - 19:00