HOME IS WHERE THE (HE)ART IS
Group show curated by Yann Perreau
Halil Altindere | Yesim Akdeniz | Volkan Aslan| Mehtap Baydu| Antonio Cosentino| GÖzde Ilkin| Yaşam Şaşmazer | Güneş Terkol | Mehmet Ali Uysal
In the summer 2016, Gallery Paris Beijing invited me to curate the first solo exhibition of Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal in France. The artist invested the space with a body of works, which, he explained, were created and assembled as an attempt to define a new home (“ev” in Turkish) for his oeuvre.
Following this gesture, the gallery will exhibit this winter works by a new generation of artists who live and work partly in Turkey, focusing on their relationship to that notion of “ev”. These artists have been exhibited around the world in the last few years, confirming the Istanbul art scene as one of the most interesting, innovative and dynamic of our time. Some of them have decided to move abroad recently. Others still live there, while most of them have now one foot here, and another one elsewhere. Hence, they have made of the world itself, in its complexity and diversity, their home. This exhibition doesn’t focus on the eternal themes of exile, diaspora or migrations, which can be a bit limitative to define works of art. It doesn’t either reduce itself to “Turkish artists”, preferring to look at artists who live in Istanbul, whatever their nationality (a global city, Istanbul welcomes artists and creators from around the world, who consider it their home).
It starts from a proverb: “Home is where the heart is”? and follows a philosophical and aesthetical – even if political too – approach: in our globalized world, is the traditional apprehension of home relevant anymore? Can home still define one and only one specific location? “Here, isn’t it elsewhere”, questions Gözde Ilkin in her poem Delirium for a poetry of space ? How can travels, displacements and shifting remodel one’s apprehension of home, one’s sense of belonging and – ultimately – one’s aesthetics? Home is sometimes left behind, voluntary or by necessity. Still it can be recreated elsewhere. What do we remember of our previous homes?
Ultimately, isn’t home that strange, mysterious, ephemeral feeling that art can sometimes help to define? Something personal, always changed, always re-imagined, like memory itself, or may be like a romance? This group exhibition looks at how these questions can materialise, take shape in various bodies of works. It will transform the gallery into a transitory, dwelling, utopic space. A “Here and elsewhere”, as Anne-Marie Miéville and Jean-Luc Godard defined it in their eponymous film.
Yann Perreau is a French art critic, author and curator. He lives between Paris, Istanbul and Los Angeles.