Nilbar Güreş "Overhead" featured on

Nilbar Güreş: The search for hidden leeway

The showcase of the artist in Lentos shows a poetic and radical visual world.

"Ayşe loves Fatma", is written in Turkish in large, pink letters on a wall. Before that, in back view two not very young women are visible, one is wearing a headscarf. The two hug each other.

It is one of those productions typical of Nilbar Güreş. The artist, who has already won two of the most important domestic art prizes with the Otto Mauer Prize (2014) and the BC21 Art Award (2015), is shaking all sorts of taboos, but she does it in a quiet, poetic way.

Many of Güreş 'photographic stagings, which are only visible as a facet of a multi-faceted work in the exhibition in Linzer Lentos (until Sept. 10) , can at first glance pass through as simple everyday scenes: A beekeeper takes care of her bees, of one Holzhütte hangs colorful laundry - and behind kiss two.

The artist, who was born in Istanbul , studied in Vienna and now lives in both cities, had once peeled herself out of a mess of headscarves for a video performance (2006). But she has not begun to rip off the cloth in a superficial gesture of liberation: her works speak much more of an interest in the boundary between the visible and the hidden drawn by objects such as (head) cloths, and respect for that Life "behind".

Dignity and resistance

The characters appearing in Güreş ' paintings all radiate dignity and strength - this is true of the old woman hiding behind the box in a red-washed room with a huge water pistol, as well as the transsexual prostitutes standing in front of the chest Skyline of São Paulo posing with a cactus between the legs. The interest in the agency of persons invisible or treated as invisible by dominant forces in society appears as a connecting element.

The series of works transcend both geographical boundaries and those between genres of art: the patterned fabrics, which already play an important role in Güreş 'photographs, develop their own lives in collages and spatial installations - belt buckles become the mouths of a two-headed snake symbolizing "queer desire" The sewing and embroidery tools become weapons.

"Self-defloration" is perhaps the most radical of a series of embroidery images that express their explicit motifs in simple simplicity. For the installation "Hairy Fire" - a kind of fire in a corner of a room, with balls of wool instead of coal - the wall was slightly singed, you can still smell the intervention: the person who keeps the hearth fire at home, also has the power to light the hut.

Read the full article here


By Sam Roberts

June 27, 2018

If you think the Flushing Remonstrance is a homeowner’s complaint to a plumber, think again. The frayed petition from 1657 is one of the foundational documents of American freedom — and for the first time in three decades it is on display in Manhattan, through Monday at Federal Hall on Wall Street.

The Dutch were known for tolerance — or indifference — to most immigrants to New Amsterdam who didn’t jeopardize the Dutch West India Company’s commercial agenda. Still, the Dutch Reformed Church remained paramount, and Peter Stuyvesant, the Calvinist director-general of the colony, was committed to enforcing its supremacy.

His order penalizing anyone who harbored Quakers provoked 31 residents of Flushing on Long Island — none of them Quakers themselves — to sign a remonstrance, a collective appeal to redress their grievance.

While it wasn’t successful at first, a further appeal directly to the company’s directors in Amsterdam upheld the Dutch principle of “liberty of conscience, not just for Christians, but for everyone.” The legacy of the remonstrance reinforced the right to petition the government, established the rule of law and provided the foundation for freedom of worship, which the Founders enshrined in the Bill of Rights at Federal Hall more than a century later.

The Remonstrance is displayed there in an anteroom off the rotunda, which is dominated by a timely and towering backdrop that evokes its provenance: a 40-foot-high facade of a 17th-century gabled Dutch canal house. The one-ton hand-painted sculpture is by Brian Tolle, who designed the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City and other works. It will be on display through Sept. 8.

Mr. Tolle named the facade “Eureka” for the exclamation of discovery often attributed to Archimedes. The exhibition is a collaboration of the New York State Archives, the Archives Partnership Trust, the National Park Service and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy.

Read the full article here

Brian Tolle: EUREKA on view at Federal Hall

Brian Tolle, presents his site-relevant 40-foot tall sculpture, EUREKA, at Federal Hall, alongside rare presentations of the Flushing Remonstrance, the 1657 petition for religious freedom, and Washington’s Inauguration Bible

The National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, is pleased to announce the presentation of Brian Tolle’s EUREKA, on view June 27 - September 8, 2018, in Federal Hall, the iconic memorial to democracy on Wall Street. EUREKA is part of a new art initiative, curated by Bonnie Levinson, inviting contemporary artists to investigate themes that resonate with the history and legacy of Federal Hall, melding the past and present, to serve as a catalyst toward the reinvigoration of civic life and a platform for free expression.

For this presentation of EUREKA, Tolle has chosen to exhibit his work alongside a rare viewing of The Flushing Remonstrance, the 1657 New Netherland petition for “liberty of conscience” that served as the precursor to religious freedom, as cemented in the First Amendment written at Federal Hall over a century later. Not seen in Manhattan in over 30 years, the Remonstrance will share a room with the Bible from President Washington’s 1789 inauguration at Federal Hall.

Tolle’s 40-foot tall sculpture, reflecting a rippling and distorted facade of a 17th century Dutch canal house, pays homage to the legacy of 40 years of Dutch rule in New York. Originally created for Jan Hoet’s city-wide exhibition, Over the Edges, 2000, in Ghent, Belgium, its re-presentation in Federal Hall blurs the site’s architectural and political history with the contemporary in the conceptual artwork.

Brian Tolle describes the work: "EUREKA is a sculptural play with illusion—a facade of a facade. Its Dutch inspired form points to New York’s early history and its fluid, but troubled, transformation from a Dutch seat of power to British colony, to an American platform for diversity and democracy. The sculpture is an apparition, a mirage of a building that has been displaced and no longer exists. Like the Dutch buildings of lower Manhattan and the canal that was once Broad Street-—erased with only the street names lingering as a reminder of their existence—EUREKA serves as a marker of Federal Hall’s complex history. Its thin veil floats upwards, into the neoclassical dome of Federal Hall, evoking the strife between form and object, as well as the tension between political volley and social action.”

The artwork’s title is inspired by the brilliant Greek polymath Archimedes exploration of displacement. After finding the upward pressure on a submerged object created buoyant force, Archimedes ran through the streets of Syracuse, Sicily, shouting, “EUREKA! EUREKA!” or “I found it!” I found it!” Tolle envisioned EUREKA as a metaphor for Archimedes’ principle of leverage. With the right tools, Archimedes believed all was possible. “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to stand," he said, "and I shall move the world.”

The nation’s Founders leveraged principles as powerful as Archimedes’ when they codified the historic events that occurred at Federal Hall, including: the acquittal in 1735 of the newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger for libel, after he exposed government corruption, which established the foundation for freedom of the press; the 1765 Stamp Act Congress, which protested taxation of then British colonies without representation, and sowed the seeds for the union to come; and the passing of the first amendments to the Constitution, which cemented in perpetuity individual rights.

“The National Park Service is honored to host Tolle’s magnificent edifice EUREKA and the Flushing Remonstrance, a transformational document to establishing the governing principles of the United States,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent for Federal Hall National Memorial. “As the site where George Washington took the oath of office as our first President and the site of the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices, Federal Hall is the appropriate venue to bring the two together to spark conversations about history through a contemporary lens.”

“As we embark on a new day for Federal Hall, this installation highlights this historic site's potential as an ever-evolving arena for public discourse through the arts," said Marie Salerno, President of the Harbor Conservancy. "Federal Hall must be steeped, but not stuck in the past. This will be a place where artists with diverse perspectives will be invited to interpret the ideas, ideals and flaws of our democracy forged here.

Highlight: Flushing Remonstrance

It is particularly relevant that Tolle’s EUREKA is paired with the rarely displayed Flushing Remonstrance. On view in Manhattan for the first time in three decades, the Remonstrance, a petition to the Dutch West India Company, for “liberty of conscience” was signed in 1657 by 31 residents of the town of Flushing — which became part of Queens, New York. Director-General of the New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant’s ban on all religious practice in the colony outside of the Dutch Reformed Church, led to the persecution of Quakers, among others. The Remonstrance petition for an exception to this ban, is considered by historians to be a forerunner to the first amendment’s freedom of religion clause and is sometimes referred to as the Magna Carta of the New World. Read the text of the beautifully crafted document in The Flushing Remonstrance Revisited, an online exhibit from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.

EUREKA at Federal Hall is organized by the Harbor Conservancy with the artist, Brian Tolle; National Park Service; Curator for Visual Arts Bonnie Levinson; Performance Designer Angrette McCloskey; and C24 Gallery. The Flushing Remonstrance presentation is made possible by the New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust. Major sponsorship for the installation was provided by American Express.

About the Artist: 

Brian Tolle sculptures and installations emphasize a formal and iconographic dialog with history and context. Using a variety of media, his work draws from the scale and experience of its surroundings, provoking a rereading by cross-wiring reality and fiction. Drawing ideas from a broad-based conceptual analysis, Tolle blurs the border between the contemporary and the historical. His approach involves in-depth research, which is then distilled and directed creating an intuitive personal response. Tolle is acclaimed for his major permanent public artworks including the “Irish Hunger Memorial” in Battery Park City, New York; “Miss Brooklyn” and “Miss Manhattan” at the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge, Flatbush, Brooklyn; and his recent appointment as the lead artist of the East Midtown Waterfront Project, an esplanade between East 53rd and East 59th Streets along New York City’s East River. Tolle's works have been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial; the Tate Modern; the S.M.A.K.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Queens Museum of Art, New York; and the Invitational Exhibition at the American Academy of Arts. The artist is currently represented by C24 Gallery. 

About the Curator:

Bonnie Levinson, Curatorial and Cultural Consultant for the Visual Arts at Federal Hall and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, curated Brian Tolle’s EUREKA, 2018, and Mel Ziegler’s A Living Thing: Flag Exchange, 2017. Levinson’s career spans over three decades working in the arts with cultural institutions. She served as Deputy Director for External Affairs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Vice President for Development for the New York Public Library, Associate Director of The Hudson River Museum and Assistant Curator of Education at the Delaware Art Museum. She works with cultural institutions creating public arts programming, and consults in development and marketing, and strategic planning. Currently she works with the Making Waves Academy in Richmond CA developing an arts education and artist residency program.

About Federal Hall National Memorial:

Federal Hall is the birthplace of American government. It is where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President and where the first U.S. Congress invented a system of governance that still guides the country today, including enactment of the Bill of Rights. The current building, a former U.S. Customs House and later U.S. Sub-Treasury, is one of America’s finest examples of Greek Revival public architecture and memorializes the first President and our nation’s founding.

About the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy:

Founded in 2005, the Harbor Conservancy is the primary nonprofit partner of the National Park Service’s sites on New York Harbor, including Federal Hall National Memorial. The Harbor Conservancy works to restore and activate treasured monuments, conserve historic collections, and connect communities to opportunities for exploration and recreation in treasured natural habitats and landscapes.

Visitor Information: EUREKA on view: June 27, 2018 - September 8, 2018

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm

Federal Hall:

Main entrance: 26 Wall Street, New York, NY.

Wheelchair accessible entrance: 15 Pine Street, New York, NY

NILBAR GÜREŞ: "Overhead" at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz

NILBAR GÜREŞ: "Overhead," at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz

June 15 - September 10, 2018


What is fascinating about Nilbar Güreş’s art is the unique poetic and humorous inventiveness that always also has a critical and political underside. In her photographs, collages, objects and videos, Güreş explores clichés of the social visibility of women in different cultural fields, whether in Turkey, her country of origin, or in Brazil. She sketches out and stages humorously challenging counter-images and -figures, in which she subverts conventional role attributions. At the same time, she subtly brings into play the defensive attitude of western society toward the dress codes of cultures influenced by religion. Her pictures and objects evince a high degree of sensuous materiality, are strangely puzzling, often charged with eroticism, and lead into a multifaceted, contradictory reality that prompts reflection. The retrospective is comprised of works dating to the period between 2006 and today and includes four productions created especially for this exhibition.

Nilbar Güreş was born in 1977 in Istanbul, studied at the Department of Fine Arts at the Marmara University in Istanbul and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She lives in Vienna and Istanbul.

Curator: Silvia Eiblmayr

Read more about the exhibition here

Tommy Hartung in Conversation

Tommy Hartung in Conversation

May 31st, 6:30 - 8pm

560 West 24th Street, NYC 10011

Join artist Tommy Hartung in conversation with curator Tim Goossens, for an intimate talk in conjunction with R.U.R., a solo exhibition of new work by Tommy Hartung on view now at C24 Gallery.

R.U.R. is a reinterpretation of Karel Čapek’s 1921 science fiction play of the same name (most notably remembered as the first text to use the term “robot”), re-written through Hartung’s surrealist DIY aesthetic and stream of consciousness storytelling. Presented in three acts, the exhibition features photographs, sculptures, and interactive videos that investigate the rapid progression of technology, and the systems of power that both result from and are fueled by the uncertainties that come along with the dehumanization of everyday life, work, and activities as human interactions become more and more steeped in technology, or “robotized”.  Dealing with themes of power constructs, manipulation, and male dominance, the exhibition is particularly timely given the recent sentencing of Larry Nassar - a key subject of Hartung’s work depicted throughout R.U.R.

Tim Goossens serves as faculty member MA at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and as one of the youngest senior faculty members at The School of the New York Times. Congruently and for over a decade, he has continued to expand his curatorial practice and social activism with a variety of public art festivals, triennials, art commissions and numerous independent projects worldwide, all of which inspires his research as a contributing editor for Oxford University Press.  He began his career at MoMA shortly after double graduate school and moved as assistant-curator to MoMA PS1, where he worked closely with the founding director, renowned artists and emerging talent alike. At these institutions and beyond, he has worked with artists such as Kenneth Anger, Bjork, Joan Jonas, Sam Moyer, Stephen Posen, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, and the estate of David Wojnarowicz. He has curated numerous international projects including Listen Up!, India’s first public sound art exhibition, Till I Get It Right (Labor, Mexico City, 2015), Dark Paradise (Clocktower, NYC and Nara Roesler, Brazil, 2013) and Larger than Love (as part of Berlin Biennial, 2012). In recent years he was one of the curators for Aurora, the large-scale public art festival in Dallas, Texas, and for This is the sound of ™, at the Triennial in Belgium.

The free talk takes place May 31 from 6:30 - 8pm at C24 Gallery.

Please RSVP by sending an email to





The Gaurdian highlights Tommy Hartung

Frieze New York: how this year's art fair got political

The annual New York City-based incarnation of the much-anticipated art fair is heading to the streets with a powerful set of protest-themed pieces

By Nadja Sayej

Wedged between South Bronx and Harlem, Randall’s Island in New York City has an unlikely past – part of it was previously called “Negro Point”.

It first got its name, officially, in 1984 after being referred to as such since the late 1800s and was renamed in 2001 when it was brought to the attention of the city’s parks commissioner, Henry J Stern.

Thanks to Stern, it is now called Scylla Point, in reference to the mythological sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis (nearby is Charybdis Playground in Astoria Park).

But that’s not enough, which is why the annual Frieze art fair – which opens today on Randall’s Island – invited New York artist Adam Pendleton to hang a flag at Scylla Point that reads “Black Lives Matter”.

“I called up Adam and said, ‘I can’t be who I am and not acknowledge this history,’” said Adrienne Edwards, a curator at this year’s fair. “I asked him to consider placing the flag at ‘Negro Point’ as a gesture to see how the flag holds that space.”

It’s an attempt to bring politically charged projects to the same old booth-and-blue-chip annual event, as Edwards is curating Frieze New York’s first annual Live section, which is devoted to the poetics of protest.

Edwards, who works as the performance curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, included Pendelton’s project and others for a project she has titled Assembly.

“I believe art is not made in the world but of the world,” said Edwards.

It’s an antidote to the usual booth-driven, fluorescent-lit art fair, where roughly 195 galleries from 30 countries are inside five white tents.

“There’s a rich history here of artists speaking to the social and political issues of their time,” she said. “In my lifetime, I have never seen anything like what’s happening right now politically; the broader world has changed and the consciousness has been raised.”

Also on view are large-scale American flags by New York artist Hank Willis Thomas, who has hand-embroidered over 15,000 stars, representing the number of people who lost their lives to gun violence in the country from 2016 to 2017.

“Since February, 2,000 people have been shot and killed in America,” said Thomas. “Often, we have memorials and monuments to people who are fallen heroes, but we don’t know who the victims of gun violence were.”

He cites the wars both outside and inside the country. “The fact we had more people killed last year than American soldiers in both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which are wars that have been going on for 20 years – is pretty astounding,” he said. “The country will memorialize fallen soldiers, but what about all these other people who died at home for unexplained reasons? This piece is a memorial for fallen stars.”

Also on view is Los Angeles artist Lara Schnitger’s piece Suffragette City, which has the same title as the David Bowie song. This performance art protest for women’s rights will have the artist leading a march with makeshift placards. Rather than words scrawled over the placards, they’re emblazoned with images of women and there will even be a cameo of a handcrafted “goddess” posted up on a wooden plank.

This year, the winner of the annual Frieze artist award went to Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga, who has created a public artwork called Shady, a wall-like sculpture made from farmer’s fabric to protect crops, though it looks like a Mexican border wall prototype.

“This particular shade cloth at once evokes this idea of a barrier, as well as a porosity that invites people to think about possible transgression,” Kiwanga told the Art Newspaper.

Together, the political projects raise the importance of bringing the rather insular world of the art fair on to the streets. Which also raises the question of does the art world need to start thinking of art fairs beyond the booth? Perhaps.

As New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz pointed out, art galleries pay between $15,000 to $125,000 for a booth at Frieze art fair – just for the weekend. But in a time when protest art and public projects garner more intrigue, are art fairs even necessary any more?

Starting at the same time, yet separate to the art fair is a set of virtual reality and video works by New York artist Tommy Hartung, whose RUR project, inspired by the science fiction play by Czech writer Karel Čapek, also look at Facebook’s forthcoming dating service through a creepy lens.




“Facebook began as a misogynist ranking system for frat boys on campus to sexually harass and stalk woman online,” said Hartung. “The internet, in general, has enabled male predators on an unprecedented scale, creating a virtual locker room and normalizing stalker behavior.”

Questions around global warming and nuclear disaster are also abound, like in a flower installation by Japanese artist Atsunobu Katagiri that looks at an endangered flower called the Monochoria korsakowii, which returned after Fukushima stirred up the soil during the tsunami.

Over at the Anat Ebgi gallery booth from Los Angeles, the Arab-American artist Jordan Nassar shows a series of embroidered works honoring the strength of Palestinian women – who the artist met in Israel – while carrying on the details of their handcraft tradition with a sympathetic touch to understand his family’s own past.

New York artist Matthew Brannon also looks back to the past – specifically, the Vietnam war to help understand the present. For his Concerning Vietnamproject at the Casey Kaplan Gallery booth, the artist interviewed war veterans, visited midwestern artillery museums and sifted through piles of declassified documents to better understand the subject, which is a seemingly endless labyrinth captured in a series of graphic, vintage-hued wall works.

While Edwards only curated the Live section and the Frieze Artist Award, her vision seems to cast a timely resonance over the entire show, in general.

“I hope that together, these projects will serve as a platform to help us imagine what is possible today through the poetics of protest,” said Edwardsof the Liveprogram.

“By breaking down boundaries between galleries and the street, the artist and their audience and making new propositions that open up conversations about the role of art in today’s society.”

Read the full article here

    Tommy Hartung: "R.U.R." featured as Must See Exhibition in artnet

    Shows! Shows! Shows! 34 New York Must-See Gallery Exhibitions to See This May                                                                                        Anchored by Frieze Week, May is one of the busiest months for gallery shows in New York.

    By Sarah Cascone & Caroline Goldstein

    May 1, 2018

     “Tommy Hartung: R.U.R.” at C24 Gallery

    If you missed Tommy Hartung’s debut at C24’s Volta booth, here is a second chance to catch his sinister, pixelated interpretation of the classic 1921 play by Karel Čapek, based on a world overrun by robots who have usurped power from their creators. Using interactive videos, photographs, and sculptures, Hartung brings the text to life for a contemporary audience who will undoubtedly draw parallels to everything from Westworld to the recent data-collection hearings around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

    Read the Full Article Here

    Tommy Hartung featured in Zealnyc

    Art Break: Galleries Featuring Painting and Sculpture, With Photos By Stanley Kubrick at the Museum of the City of NY

    By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer

    This week, Art Break’s choices cover a variety of interests. Want to know more about painting? Visit Almine Rech Gallery for a show on late 20th century painting and its relevance. Maybe you prefer photography – in which case, you’ll be checking out Danziger Gallery’s display of Paul Fusco’s pictures. There’s also a great exhibit of Stanley Kubrick’s early work in still photography at The Museum of the City of New York. If you like craft and design, Friedman Benda presents the collective GT2P as well as the artist Erez Nevi Pana. Both are known for their work using natural materials in making sculptures and decorative objects.

    In addition, Galerie Lelong & Co. has Ursula von Rydingsvard, the well-known sculptor whose works use materials ranging from paper to metal. Those among us who admire great draftsmanship will be heading over to Galerie Buchholz to see Paul Bonet’s drawings for the book bindings that gained him international fame among collectors and book lovers everywhere. And if you just like technology, stop in at C24 Gallery and look at Tommy Hartung’s latest show about humans and their fascination with robots. So hop on the train and go see some art!

    At C24 Gallery, Tommy Hartung: R.U.R. (May 4 – June 23, 2018) uses costume, photographs, and interactive video to examine why we are so fascinated by the idea and reality of robots, regardless of the cost to our humanity. You’ll rethink your relationship to technology and its place in your life.

    Read the full article here

    Brian Tolle Selected for The East Midtown Waterfront Project

    NYCEDC, working in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, the NYC Department of Transportation, elected officials, and local communities, is engaged in planning for the East Midtown Waterfront Project to improve access to the East River, enhance bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, and create waterfront amenities for public use and enjoyment in accordance with Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and OneNYC. The new waterfront esplanade would stretch for 22 blocks and fill a major gap in the 32-mile Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

    The selected design team is led by Stantec and design commenced in October 2017. It is anticipated that the construction of the Greenway will be complete in 2022.  NYCEDC, working in partnership with NYC Parks and NYCDOT, has selected an artist to serve on the design team for the East Midtown Greenway. Brian Tolle was selected through a selection process designed by Via Partnership working with Stantec. The design team assembled an artist selection committee with representatives from City agencies and the community, with members possessing visual art expertise, knowledge of living artists and artistic production, and support for project vision. An advisory panel comprised of representatives from the design team and an appointed representative from Community Boards 6 and 8 was also integral to the selection process.

    Forty-seven local, national, and international artists recommended by the public art consultant, the design team, and the community, were invited to participate in the invitational competition. Tolle was selected based upon his qualifications and interviews with the design team, artist selection committee, advisory panel and the community. Selection criteria included:

    • Artistic excellence as demonstrated by past work and submitted materials
    • Experience working on projects requiring collaborative skills
    • Demonstrated understanding of the requirements for creating work for public space
    • Demonstrated appreciation of architecture and public space use and engagement
    • Demonstrated ability to work within budgets and meet project deadlines
    • Ability to engage a wide audience

    The selection process included a qualifications review meeting on January 30. This meeting was open to the public. The three finalists selected at this meeting attended a project orientation and design workshop. The final selection was made at a public meeting on February 28. Each of the finalists gave a presentation and answered questions from community members.

    Read more here

    Seçkin Pirim at Design Shanghai

    One of the leading names of contemporary Turkish art, Seçkin Pirim, is taking part in Design Shanghai with the invitation of ACAF (Australia China Art Foundation) and shows his new works from ''Discipline Factory'' and ''Hypochondriac'' series.

    Design Shanghai, Asia’s leading international design event, is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2018. As Asia’s biggest international design event, Design Shanghai focuses on bringing exceptional design, quality and inspiration together, and introducing the world’s most established brands, exciting up-and-coming designers from China and abroad as well as renowned galleries. The fair will show over 400 leading international and home-grown design brands and galleries from over 30 countries, presenting their exciting and innovative ideas through extensive product launches, bespoke installations and exclusive networking events.  

    Seckin Pirim’s new 10-meter sculpture from his ''Discipline Factory'' series, will be exhibited at Shanghai Exhibition Center’s main entrance during the art and design week that will continue for 2 weeks at Shanghai. At the same time, for 2 weeks, another installation from ''Hypochondriac'' series which we have seen before at C24 Gallery New York, will be at one of Shanghai’s most crowded public places. As an artist who has shown his ''Discipline Factory'' series at London Saathci Gallery before, Pirim, is also participating as a speaker with 30 design icons at Design Shanghai.

    He has been also awarded as “The Peak of Design Shanghai”

    Seçkin Pirim:     
    Seçkin Pirim was born in 1977 in Ankara, and after graduating in 1995 from the High School of Fine Arts, enrolled at the Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts University Department of Sculpture. Following his graduation in 2000, he also completed his Master’s degree at the same institution. As a sculptor and design artist, Seçkin Pirim has taken part in over 50 group exhibitions, and has held 16 solo exhibitions -13 in Turkey, and 3 abroad. Pirim has won many awards in the fields of sculpture and design, and his works are included in many private and museum collections both in Turkey and abroad. He continues to work at his studio in Istanbul.

    Read more here



    By HG Masters

    There was no sign outside the Abu Efendi Mansion (Konağı) announcing the exhibition “Koloni” (“Colony”) held inside the late 19th-century building located just across the tram tracks from the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya). Given the metaphorically chilly climate in Turkey—incrementally more repressive every month—the understated presence of the show made sense considering its themes and concerns: curators Kevser Güler, Derya Bayraktaroğlu and Aylime Aslı Demir describe these as “the scope of post-human and queer critique kinship.” For context, in November, Turkey’s capital city Ankara had banned all exhibitions and film screenings with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex themes. Since 2015, police have blocked and violently suppressed the once-annual transgender and gay pride parades held in Istanbul. That “Koloni” was the biennial exhibition of the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (known as Kaos GL and based in Ankara) could only have been inferred from the copies of the organization’s magazine available on a table in the building’s foyer.

    The artworks of “Koloni” similarly vacillated between explicitness and obscurity. Despite modest external promotion, at the same time, curators didn’t hold back in presenting overtly queer or trans themes to those who had ventured past the security guard. The ground floor, for instance, featured a video by Dynasty Handbag, Oh, Hummingbird (2017), a psychedelic music video starring artist Jibz Cameron’s alter egowearing a nude suit drawn with female genitals while singing a ballad about a hummingbird having to navigate a polluted natural environment. You couldn’t miss the sound of Dynasty Handbag’s singing, though the small monitor was placed on the floor, perhaps obscuring details of her outfit unless you crouched down.

    Upstairs, the negotiation between overtness and obliqueness continued in nuanced ways, as artists represented bodies in various kinds of transition or transformation. Nilbar Güreş’s embroidered and painted diptych work, entitled Vaginal Fisting (2014), again required close inspection to see just how she visualized the titular action by hybridizing floral and biological imagery into small figures collaged on blue-striped textile (I noted that in the exhibition map, the title was not translated into Turkish). In a tiny adjacent room was a pair of black nylon pants with a bright pink belt, its crotch melted away in sections—Güreş’s Queer Desire Is Hot (2017)—which, by comparison, seemed like simplistic declaration. Chemical transformations are the subject of Mary Maggic’s video Housewives Making Drugs and accompanying diagram on paper Open Source Estrogen Mind Map (both 2017). The video features two trans-femme stars, Maria and Maria (played by Jade Phoenix and Jade Renagade), who in a mock live cooking show demonstrate how to synthesize estrogen from urine, providing instructions for those who want or need to pursue a DIY hormone treatment. Moving even further into the post-human territory was Daria Martin’s 16 mm film Soft Materials (2004), which was shot in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich, and captured two nude performers (one man, one woman) trained in “sensory awareness,” interacting with the robotic machines in dance-like routines or intimate touching.

    Back in the more esoteric direction were İris Ergül’s Vertebrae(2017), which is a set of amoebic-looking islands of latex and fake fur rising up from the floor—resembling both human and animal parts, internal organs and exteriors. The events in Gökçe Yiğitel’s video recording of a two-hour performance Proteus (2017) were hard to discern in the sunlit space, but the physical remnants involved an audio recording of a 12-minute guided meditation and an “incubation site” comprising a piece of glass, where various bacterial growths were encased in agar and labeled. Also deploying a piece of glass as its surface was Yavuz Erkan’s messy, painterly composition of diverse materials—including “kidney stone(s) of a mother,” “home-grown K3[Fe(CN)6] (Potassium Ferricyanide) single crystal(s),” “broken piece(s) of a brown glass bottle,” bleach and apple cider vinegar, and the handle of a black plastic bag—which had an enigmatic appeal.

    Birds—and post-internet aesthetics—returned in several works on the second floor upstairs, including Katja Novitskova’s massive photographic cut-out (sourced online) of a red bird’s curling beak and head, Approximation Mars I“Assemblage Version” (2014), which sits on a bed of correspondingly bright-red aquarium pebbles and blurs all the lines between the natural and artificial realms. Similarly exploring the crossovers between nature and scientific study, Ursula Mayer’s film Atom Spirit (2016–17) imagines a quasi-futuristic, female-led team of scientists collecting DNA from natural locations in Trinidad and Tobago—including from hummingbirds. Meanwhile, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s Mimicry (2017) installation and video depicts a flower production factory that is more online retail fulfillment center than greenhouse.

    Looking to the past for possible models for the future, İz Öztat installation works were from her “Posthumous Production” series by an alter-ego named Zişan, who was involved (or was imagined to be involved) with early 20th-century avant-garde circles in Europe as well as Turkish socialist groups. These works take the form of various woven cane sculptures, including one visualizing Nietzsche’s idea of the “eternal return” and a hanging woven lattice stitched with the word “Utopie.” Psychosexual dystopias were evoked Erinç Seymen and Uğur Engin Deniz’s pair of digital works. Each is a looping, animated drawing in Seymen’s fastidious style, with surrealist, nightmarish imagery: a mass of bodies pouring from the windows of a school-like building; an amorphous creature comprised of flowers, leaves and human hands holding a ruler and a knife.

    Even more difficult to parse—particularly in the absence of texts about the works—were Yasemin Nur’s installation Permeate (2017), a room-installation of squares of old pieces of paper arrayed on old wooden furniture and boxes, and Umut Yıldırım’s booklet resting on a red bench with red buckets of soil beneath it. The latter, titled Lungs (2017), contained poem-like lists of related things—AK-47, M16, RPG-7, for example; or various kinds of vegetables and grains—in what was described in the caption as an “inventory,” though it was unclear of what.

    The significance of other works might have also passed me by if I hadn’t gleaned certain biographical or contextual subtexts from friends’ explanations. On the building’s top floor, for instance, a video work by the filmmaker collective İyi Saatte Olsunlar (“Let the Good Times Roll”), titled Raskol’s Axe (2013), is a music video of a drag performer lip-synching the 1978 song Melankoli by the diva Nükhet Duru. The video was directed by the late Boysan Yakar, who was one of the co-founders of the group, and who was known for his work as a mayoral advisor in a prominent city municipality on LGBTI issues, making him one of the only openly gay figures in Turkish politics. He and two other LGBTI activists died tragically in a car accident in September 2015. The show contained another kind of memorial, also hiding in plain sight, in the form of a newspaper sitting on an old armchair in the front foyer, that I only saw on my way out. Aykan Safoğlu’s project The Ark (2017) consisted of the artist placing remembrance ads in Turkish newspapers that—as far as I understood them—read as poetic, personal memories compared to the formal announcements surrounding them, made by families or corporations of the recently deceased.

    Safoğlu’s work, like many others in “Koloni,” positioned itself in a paradoxical space:  readily visible and yet largely inscrutable, at least on an initial glance or to those inadvertently coming across them. “Koloni” itself, as with many recent cultural events and exhibitions in Turkey—including the last two editions of the Istanbul Biennial—revealed how progressive organizations, curators and artists alike are figuring out how to avoid unwanted attention from the forces of emboldened chauvinism and ethno-militarism that dominate public life in Turkey today. While this increasingly restricted space compels artists and the cultural community to be more savvy in their presentation of challenging materials—and most likely to engage in even more forms of self-censorship than before—the accessibility and legibility to the wider public of such cultural events has severely diminished. But at this point in time, even the simple fact of survival for boundary-exploring intellectual and cultural events like “Koloni” remains an achievement.

    HG Masters is the editor at large of ArtAsiaPacific.

    Koloni” is on view at Abud Efendi Konağı, Istanbul, until February 3, 2018.

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    Tommy Hartung at VOLTA NY featured on artnet

    Among art fairs, VOLTA‘s format remains unique, in that all its participating galleries are asked to present a solo booth. It’s a simple conceit, but one that allows for a sense of depth and context, and a level of visual focus that cuts against the visual overload that can make the fairs so fatiguing.

    “Much thought goes into placing the galleries in such a way that meaningful dialogues between different artists, especially in this solo context, create an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the variety of artistic positions presented,” said Amanda Coulson, artistic director of the fair.

    This year marks VOLTA’s eleventh in New York City and its fourth at Pier 90, where the proximity to Armory has boosted attendance considerably. (For the curious, the fair’s name comes from the fact that it got its start as a satellite fair in Basel, Switzerland, where it was housed in a former electric plant there.)

    There’s plenty to see. Don’t miss, for instance, the latest curated group show at the center of the fair. This year’s edition was organized by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont, titled “The Aesthetics of Matter.” It focuses on collage by several rising stars.

    Below, we break out a few of the standout solo projects of VOLTA New York 2018.

    Alan Fontes at Galeria Emma Thomas, São Paulo, Brazil:

    Houses, or the remnants of their structures in the wake of disaster, are a recurring motif in Brazilian artist Alan Fontes‘s work. The interior of his solo installation booth at Galeria Emma Thomas for VOLTA, titled “The House” is centered on the idea of a three-dimensional painting, says director Camila Neubarth. It conjures up associations of an owner or occupant wandering through their home in the dazed aftermath of catastrophe.

    Visitors navigate detritus including scattered floor tiles, picture frames, suitcases, and bottles, along with destroyed furniture and even a piano, all cast in a dull shade of volcanic ash-gray. The paintings that hang on the walls of the space depict eerie small-scale houses, islands in a sea of black paint as well as larger depictions of houses sliced in half or with entire sections missing, with piles of personal belongings still visible inside, evoking post-disaster news imagery.

    Tommy Hartung at C24, New York:

    Tommy Hartung’s installation at C24 Gallery, titled R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), is based on Karel Čapek’s 1920 science fiction play where the term “robot” was first used. The play explores the uncertainties raised by the speed of technological progress and the dehumanization that occurs with the robotization of human interactions. In Hartung’s adaptation, the original work is re-written through photographs, costumes, and videos, posing the question of why people want robots to look human.

    Hartung’s photographs consist of character studies and pictures inspired by the constructivist art originally designed for the original play’s playbills. The video installation (above) is flanked by two creepy mannequin heads contain cameras, briefly incorporate the viewer into the video loop.

    William Buchina at Slag Gallery, Brooklyn, New York:

    William Buchina‘s “rephrasing” and reutilization of primary source material are what Slag Gallery gallery director Irina Protopopescu describe as part of “a crusade unpack his own creative process.” The result is an intriguing series of paintings that invite careful study, albeit without delivering a clear or linear narrative. But that’s part of the fun. The process of making the works is central to the story-line, says Protopopescu. “In making them I imagine a lost ritual… random and unrelated elements take over,” Buchina said in a statement.

    C24 Gallery mentioned in Galerie

    By Paul Laster

    With the influx of art fairs landing in New York this week, advance planning is key. Here, we have sifted through the lists of exhibitors at the top four fairs—the Armory Show, Volta NY, Independent and NADA—to highlight the art and artists that we believe merit the most attention.


    Nearby at Pier 90, the 11th edition of the Armory Show’s sister fair, Volta NY, offers 85 galleries from 48 cities presenting a global vision of contemporary art.

    Collage is at the core of much of the art on view at the fair, ranging from the gallery booths to the curated group exhibition. Colombian artist Harold Ortiz, for example, manipulates illegally downloaded image bank pictures in his photographs at Medellin’s Timebag; Damien Hoar de Galvan assembles cut pieces of painted wood to construct organic and geometric forms on simple bases at Seattle’s Studio E; Tommy Hartung juxtaposes his own creations with found materials and footage to create fragmented cultural narratives in video, photography and sculpture at New York’s C24 Gallery; and Jean-Sébastien Denislayers a variety of painterly marks on Mylar to construct colorful abstract paintings at Montreal’s Galerie Simon Blais.

    New York–based artist Mickalene Thomas and independent curator Racquel Chevremont joined forces to organize “The Aesthetics of Matter” in the Curated Section of the fair. Taking collage as the point of departure, the eight-artist exhibition explores the medium through cultural, personal, and material concepts. Standout artists in the show include Tomashi Jackson, who uses Josef Albers’s 1963 text Interaction of Color to explore the history of racial segregation in her painterly assemblages; David Shrobe, who creates surreal portraits by combining his figurative paintings and drawings with found materials; and Kennedy Yanko, who makes abstract sculptures by blending rubbery skins of poured paint and crumpled paper with bits of marble and scrap metal. Pier 90, New York City

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    Mike Dargas in Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

    Mike Dargas was born in 1983 in Cologne, Germany.  Alongside his first drawings, he started making paintings with oil paint from a young age, which he was selling to friends of his mother. At age eleven, Mike Dargas exhibited his talent publicly, drawing old masters paintings with pastel and chalk on the pavement in front of the Cologne cathedral.

    He then got accepted in an art school, from which he graduated after a year and a half, the only child in a class of adults. There, he learnt different techniques, and received a training that led him to master three dimensional arts, like wooden sculptures. In his early twenties, he built himself a solid reputation in the tattoo scene and won numerous prizes and awards.

    Inspired by artists such as Dali, Caravaggio and HR Giger, Mike Dargas studied various techniques and since his youth developed a passion for realism, which he narrowed down over the years to hyperrealism.

    The extremely precise technique with oil paint gives, like a photography, a snapshot of the moment. The artist studies his subjects with such intensity, that each portrait pictures a profile of increasing intimate closeness. In his portraits, Mike Dargas is not limited to certain types. He paints young and old, beautiful and dark, fragile and strong people. They are lost in their thoughts, show inner conflict or convey a unique or even holy calmness. The perfection of his technique serves his goal to tend towards the perfect image, reaching for the soul within each single one. Through his works, Mike Dargas challenges us to take a closer look, to understand the nature of human being and to question our own emotional perception.

    The artist lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

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    Brian Tolle in Whitehot Magazine

    By Paul Laster

    Little boxes on the hillside / Little boxes made of ticky tacky/ Little boxes / Little boxes / Little boxes all the same / There's a green one, and a pink one / And a blue one and a yellow one / And they're all made out of ticky tacky / And they all look just the same – Pete Seeger

    Questioning the utopian nature of suburbia, Brian Tolle’s colorful sculptures from his Levittown series reveal that the once idyllic perception of these middleclass communities is fading as fast as the American dream. Tolle, who’s celebrated for his public art installation Irish Hunger Memorial in New York’s Battery Park City, is presenting eleven of these poetic pieces, along with a whimsical model of the façade of a 17th-century Flemish canal house, in his current solo exhibition, BENT, at C24 Gallery in New York.

    Primarily considered a suburb on Long Island, where the first community was built, Levittown is actually the name of seven housing developments, which are comprised of assembly-line-style structures that were built in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico between 1947 and 1970. The communities played a major role in the rise of the middle class, as well as the urban flight that devastated big cities. These housing developments also became the butt of a lot of jokes after Pete Seeger made a hit record out of his rendition of singer-songwriter and political activist Malvina Reynolds’ catchy tune, Little Boxes, back in 1963. 

    Taking this classic suburban house as his point of departure, Tolle created a detailed mold from a scaled-down architectural model of one of the “ticky tacky” homes, which he cast “just the same” from silicone rubber in a mix of lively colors and then incorporated into quirky assemblages of various found objects that are symbolic of life in the burbs. 

    A green house comically grips a pair of crutches in Out of Service; a pink home ironically tops a rocking horse, a bicycle with training wheels and a rusted wagon in Outgrown; a blue habitat with white trimmed windows and red shutters and door lazily rests atop a wheelchair in Old Glory; a yellow dwelling smartly covers a metal shopping cart filled with nativity figures in Jerusalem Ave; while a flattened fuchsia abode amusing conceals a bean bag chair in Go Ask Alice.   

    Paired with these witty works are large and small versions of Eureka, the artist’s 40-foot high sculpture of the façade of a 17th-century canal house. Commissioned by curator Jan Hoet for an exhibition in Ghent in 2000, the three-dimensional work required digital technology to add the reflection and wave movement of the canal to the facsimile of building’s surface. Here we see the structure surrealistically laid out on the floor of the lower gallery, which can be dreamily viewed from above.

    Curiously enough, dreamy is an apt metaphor for the whole show, as if you’re recalling the relics of an earlier life or discovering your family history—be it 50 or 350 years in the past. WM

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