Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Photographers

The Photographers
Laurence Bonvin & Juul Hondius
June 23, 2007 - August 11, 2007

Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present The Photographers, an exhibition by the Swiss artist Laurence Bonvin and the Dutch artist Juul Hondius.

Prior to the realization of the exhibition, both Bonvin and Hondius spent a considerable amount of time in Istanbul in 2005 and 2006. The exhibition is a result of the extensive research about urban spaces in transformation, changing demographics, and mental maps of the city.

There is a remarkable interest in photography as a predominant medium in the field of contemporary art in Turkey. With this exhibition, Platform approaches this interest with two distinct positions: Hondius' photography takes on a place though a series of complex procedures without over-signifying the place itself. It is a form of distilling a city to a set of monumental images that are in large part mis-en-scénes. Rather than transferring the real, he starts with a photographic fiction that has a purchase on plausibility. Bonvin's photographs, similar to Hondius', betray the desire of arresting the image in a local, preconceived way. In fact, Bonvin's photographs of plush, newly-built gated communities on the outskirts of the city have the potential to be anywhere for an scrutinizing eye. Mostly of depopulated, tranquil spaces, the photographs look like near-perfect sets, unlikely to be actual.

The exhibition is a welcome relief to the subject of Istanbul that has been suffering from over-representation, photo-documentary formats, journalistic impulses, and the fast image.

Laurence Bonvin is a photography-based artist living and working in Geneva. A two-time receipient of the Swiss Art Award, her work has been exhibited at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Fri-Art, Fribourg, Aarhus Copenhagen and many other other institutions.

Juul Hondius is an Amsterdam based artist and a former resident of Platform Garanti CAC. His work has been exhibited recently at the Tate Liverpool Museum, The Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Busan Biennale 2004, South Korea.

The exhibition has been realized with the support of Pro Helvetia, Fonds Municipal d'Art Contemporain de la ville de Genève, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, and the Mondriaan Foundation.

Excerpt from an Interview of Laurence Bonvin with Fatoş Üstek

F.A. I would like to start our interview with making our readers informed about your education and how you started to produce photography.

L.B. My first experience with photography was watching the pictures that my father had produced while he was traveling the world as a sportsman. For me, as a kid, the elsewhere they were picturing was really influential...
The full interview can be found here

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Discussion with Bert Theis

June 26, 18:30, Platform Garanti

Bert Theis was born in Luxembourg and currently lives and works in Milan, Italy. As an artist, his work has been shown internationally in art galleries, fairs, public parks, town squares, and even in crowded subways. Theis challenges the typical artist-viewer relationship by creating works in which the viewer's personal utilization of the artwork takes precedence over the conceptual structure of the piece itself. Having now taken on a more organizational role through his work with the Isola Art Center and OUT [the Office for Urban Transformation], Theis continues to explore contemporary art and its contribution to daily life and creative stimulation.

Bert Theis will participate with ISOLA and OUT in the 10th International Istanbul Biennial.

A Walking Discussion with Bert Theis

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Global Cities at Tate Modern

20 June-27 August 2007
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London

Platform's curator November Paynter is one of the curators for the revised project that stared with the 10th International Venice Architecture Biennale.

Global Cities
, a major free exhibition examining recent changes in ten global cities - Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and Tokyo - will be presented in a spectacular installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern from 20 June-27 August 2007. Organised by Tate in association with the la Biennale di Venezia, the exhibition is sponsored by Land Securities in association with Savills and Derwent London.

The show will feature newly commissioned work by leading international artists and architects
Nigel Coates, Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher, Fritz Haeg, OMA*AMO/Rem Koolhaas, Nils Norman and Richard Wentworth inspired by the social, cultural and physical dimensions of London. To complement the other city data are more than twenty works by artists and architects Atelier Bow Wow, Hüseyin Alptekin, Francis Alys, Laurence Bonvin, Osman Bozkurt, Hala Elkoussy, Kendell Geers, Dryden Goodwin, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Francesco Jodice, Eva Koch, Maha Maamoun, Neutral, Nils Norman, Scott Peterman, Melanie Smith, Dean Sameshima, Guy Tillim, Paromita Vohra and Yang Zhenzhong.

Global Cities has been developed from the show that was the centrepiece of the 10th International Venice Architecture Biennale where it attracted over 130,000 visitors, making it the most popular Architecture Biennale to date. The exhibition at Tate Modern will use London as a concrete point of reference and comparison with the other nine cities. The exhibition’s Turbine Hall installation has been specially designed by Pentagram.

The exhibition addresses major issues facing some of the most influential urban centres around the world: from migration to mobility, from social integration to sustainable growth. It explores five themes: size, speed, density, form and diversity and draws upon comparative socio-economic and geographic data assembled by researchers at the London School of Economics.

To complement these data, the exhibition at Tate incorporates a wide range of existing visual art works in the media of video and photography that present subjective interpretations of urban conditions in each of the ten cities. The artists’ and architects’ commissions, which are being produced especially for the exhibition in the Turbine Hall, will respond to the local context of London and in some cases of Southwark.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Discussion with Bert Theis

June 26, 18:30

Bert Theis was born in Luxembourg and currently lives and works in Milan, Italy. As an artist, his work has been shown internationally in art galleries, fairs, public parks, town squares, and even in crowded subways. Theis challenges the typical artist-viewer relationship by creating works in which the viewer's personal utilization of the artwork takes precedence over the conceptual structure of the piece itself.

Having now taken on a more organizational role through his work with the Isola Art and Community Center and OUT: the Office for Urban Transformation, Theis continues to explore contemporary art and its contribution to daily life and creative stimulation.

Bert Theis will participate with ISOLA and OUT in the 10th International Istanbul Biennial. Isola Art and Community Center is a project founded in 2002 by a group of international and national critics, curators and artists, with the objective of working with the neighborhood associations for the defense of public spaces and the creation of the Art Center.

A Walking Discussion with Bert Theis

Bosphorus Beat in Art + Auction Magazine

A survey article by Abigail R. Esman was published in the June 2007 issue of Art + Auction. The excerpt reads "With the Istanbul Biennale turning ten in September, there’s no better time to explore this surprisingly vibrant art scene, where collectors, museums and public art thrive despite social and political tensions." Following is the section that pertains to Platform Garanti. Listed also are the corrections to the text. "The Bosphorus Beat" Abigail R. Esman ... Opposite Yapi Kredi is Platform, the city's first alternative space. Platform was established in 2001 by Proje4L's founding director and co-curator of the 2005 biennial, Vasif Kortun, and is sponsored by the Garanti Bank. (For reasons involving competition, tradition, good business and goodwill, banks have become major supporters of the art institutions, including galleries, following the model set by Yapi Kredi's Kazim Taskent.) More a foundation then an exhibition space, Platform, according to an official statement, functions as "a meeting point for contemporary artists, curators and critics" through its encyclopedic archive of contemporary Turkish art, music and film . It also provides residencies for artists from Europe, the Balkans, Kazakhstan and the Middle East. "Our mission," says Kortun, who was the first director (1994-97) of the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in upstate New York, is "to being questions, not answers," to contemporary art. "That doesn't make us a safe place," he adds, noting that police removed a work by one resident recently, claiming that it ridiculed them. (There have been no religious protests against any of the art in Istanbul.) Corrections: "The Bosphorus Beat" "Platform contains an archive of work by more than 100 artists from Turkey, the most comprehensive library of art publications in the city." "...Our residency programme is currently supported by Dutch, Flemish, Swedish, Basque, Norwegian, Swiss, Greek, French, British and Finnish national and regional funding bodies. With the support of a special three-year grant donated by the American Center Foundation, we were able to invite three artists from South East Europe, the South East Mediterranean and West Asia between 2004-2006. A grant from the Open Society Institute now offers artists from the Caucasus region the opportunity to spend two months in Istanbul this year and as one of the partners of the newly established Backyard residency programme, a project under the SEE Mobility Project (Artists' Residences in South East Europe,), supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers we have invited four artists from the countries of South East who will spend time in on IRP between September 2006 and June 2007." from our website Further Amendments: Regarding the problem with the police, one case occurred during a street performance by the artist named Luk Sips. Sips had put himself behind bars in a make-shift cell on the Istiklal Street. The other case was Ahmet Öğüt's screening on Yama a new public art space hosted by a digital board that sits atop the Marmara Pera Hotel in Istanbul. The work was eventually removed by the organizer because of heavy pressure from the security officials.