Journeys. Wanderings in contemporary Turkey continues the cycle of exhibitions, initiated at the Espace culturel Louis Vuitton in 2006, exploring the contemporary art scene of a foreign country. After Indonesia in 2011, the Espace now turns the spotlight on Turkey.
Eleven artists from different generations use a variety of techniques to evoke, each in their own way, the theme of travel, dear to Louis Vuitton. Some wander through their country – vast not only in geographical terms, but also in the scope of its history and the multicultural essence of its people – while others embark on an intimate, introspective journey, touching on the universal.
“Istanbul has in recent years emerged as a major center of global contemporary art. New foundations and galleries continually spring up, along with the city’s Biennal,” notes Herve Mikaeloff, curator of the exhibition. The artists look at their country through the prism of travel, long a defining leitmotif for Louis Vuitton.
The strength, beauty and immensity of the Turkish landscape unfold in Murat Morova’s polyptych, in the surprising photographic mise-en-scene by Halil Altindere, and in the installation by Murat Akagündüz, which brings together video and resin painting. Photographer Silva Bingaz shows a reportage featuring the inhabitants of Istanbul, while Ali Taptik creates a patchwork of intimate urban photographs, revealing the mystery of this enigmatic country.
Ceren Oykut, meanwhile, takes inspiration from everyday life to express, through her drawings, the fevered, chaotic activity of the city.
Childhood and the past provide another rich vein of inspiration: Ihsan Oturmak paints uniformed schoolchildren from class photographs, while Tayfun Serttas appropriates an astonishing series of archive images in which young girls adopt the same hackneyed pose before the photographer’s lens.
The artist Canan goes back over the history of her country with a video portrait of a woman, offering a contemporary vision of Turkish society somewhere between classic ottoman calligraphy and illumination, collage and animated film. Finally, Gözde Ilkin’s embroideries, composed of objects the artist found on her travels, and Hale Tenger’s globes hanging beneath a starry vault, invite the visitor to wander beyond the borders of this fascinating country.
The Espace culturel Louis Vuitton is hosting “Journeys. Wanderings in contemporary Turkey” exhibition until January 6.