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Concept

Functioning as a contemporary art platform in Turkey, Siemens Art has continually been supporting young artists for the last 12 years. At the same time, by means of the competition 'Borders and Orbits' taking place every year since 2007, it leads the way to introduce new artist nominees into the world of art. Speaking especially of young artists, it means that we are considering 'what belongs to the present time'. So, art that is produced in secular times, art finds its match in the 'world'.

Post-globalization, art introduced us to a rather complicated and controversial process. After the coming side by side of the terms 'globalization' and 'art', it has turned into a necessity that the disciplines of sociology of art, art theory, art history and economy co-exist. These components caused the evolution of the then-universal paradigm to the global paradigm of the day. Yet, the new modal of relationship set by the economic context reveals a disconnection between the universal and the global.

Globalization holds the promise of the ideal of a greater humanity on one hand, while, on the other, via the drive for standardization, it submits the cultural and intellectual domain to the dominance of global powers.

While the 'new world order' has been getting established in cities in alignment with neoliberal policies since 1980, the class conflict gave its place to representation-issues such as ethnicity, race, identity and religion.

As for the art, with the 'global' postmodernism putting an end to the grand narratives glorified by the "universal" modernist approach, its taking over visual culture as means of power over communication has driven the western philosophy into crisis. That, the discussion of "does 'art actual' as we use today correspond to 'modern' or 'contemporary' art?" has been introduced to the agenda, is the reflection this crisis on Turkish art. This is much beyond a matter of translation; art of today has carried on to our agenda the issue of the relations between 'the modern or the contemporary' and, 'globalization and the economic context'.

With the impact domain of economy moving on from politics to cover culture in the with the globalization drive, associated with the notion of status, we are witnessing the politicization of culture.

Interpreting the economic temporality of the West and globalization as a form of 'late capitalism' and adopting through the postmodern perspective, while it took the definitive adjective of 'modern' in 1990's, art actual has taken the form of 'contemporary' in Turkey starting with 2000's. The concepts of modern art and contemporary art as established in our terminology are driving concepts of 'art actual' in Turkey today.

While modernism covers the 200-years-period since the beginning of capitalism to date, the term 'contemporary art' has been in use since 1960's, to differentiate from the modern art, the art produced after World-War II.

In Turkey, till 1990's, the concepts of 'modern art' and 'contemporary art' were treated as one notion. However, 'modern art' that carried the temporality of pre-1960 modernism was grounded on the revolutions of the bourgeoisie. To complement, Nilüfer Göle, by referencing to the anthropologist Johannes Fabian, reminds us that, the modernist statement does not give the claim to the 'other' to co-exist, that, the core notion of the modernist statement is not perceiving the other as contemporary to itself. In general, this also reflects the self-view of the non-Westerns and, the Turkish word 'to be modernized' is the best demonstration of this feeling of not currently being in the same time with the West. According to this analysis, 'to be modernized' refers to normative values instead of pointing at the contemporary and the time of the day. That is to say, at the desired modernization of the future...

Thereby, 'contemporary art' reminds of the hierarchy of aesthetical values of Western canons. It is the continuation of the Europe-centered modernism and does not correspond to today.

While the contemporary art is centered around meaning and symbol, the term art actual or art today as we use in Turkish language carries the art on to an ideology-free, secular public ground, referring to a new aesthetically regime, by means of up-to-date materials and statement opportunities standing out of the project 'modernism' peculiar to Turkey.

The terminology issue as caused by the Turkish political history up to 2000's, on the meaning and time perception of the modernism has been resolved since the second half of 2000s, through "contemporary" concept taking its place in the art terminology, with emphasis on the notion of "whatever it is – corresponding to the present time'.

Another relevant issue is the mediums and collaborations that today's art works on. These media depend on the distinction between the 'global' and the 'worldly'. The economic temporality of 'globalization' looking at the world through the objectivity of consumption performs through objectivizing the art, by standing in front of even the world of art. As opposed to this, 'driving for the worldly' is an attempt to change the world rather than perceiving it as a reserve, ready to be consumed.

This year, the works of art of young artists taking part in the 18th exhibition of 'Borders and Orbits' competition, reflect a motivation that is grounded on culture and resistance, to leave their current position and situation, 'opening up the world'.

When we examine the works taking part in the exhibition, Ece ERBİL's 'Come In' video installation enables the viewer to experience the discovery of spatial existence under guidance of the body in a neutral light plane.

Şeyma İNCİ's 'Game and Reality' installation transforms the reality into a Freudian uncanniness through re-constructing the 'good state of the past' indicators as per today.

In his drawing work 'We are rising', Akın GÜREŞ creates the current views of the archaeology of his own personal history.

In her work 'Black Grape', Ayşe Hilal ATEŞ emplaces the look in a 'middle' place via converting the indicators of internality related to her own personal history into that of externality through 'morphologic' analyses.

In his 'Military Lanscape' photograph, Baran ÇAĞINLI holds the 'thing' that could potentially get into his viewfinder subject to the forceful violence of the power domain.

Through his 'Blood and Property' photo series, Berkay TEZCAN helps us face with the state of constant crisis of our perceptions by means of interfaces like tv etc. transferring images of violence in circulation on the contemporary media, the distance it creates between us and the 'pain', by transforming the images of violence into objects of desire.

With the photo series entitled 'Nest of Illusion', Can ÜNLÜ presents us with the fragmental details of dullness resulting from the so-called 'beautiful life' which is proposed to us as the new aesthetical facts of urban transformation revealing itself by the repetition without rhythm, the new without a character, the solid dullness of movement, the artificiality of the natural and the un-illusory illusion.

Dilara GÖL, with her 'Sketch Book' entitled installation, puts the viewer in a silent dialogue with the visual texts where the hidden reality of the person in inherently contained.

Via her 'Kamp Armen' installation, Eda ASLAN is trying to re-relate the viewer with the bond between now and the past, with the parts that get lost-diminished while hidden in the objectivity of realization.

In her video 'Metaphysics', Rabia ÇELİK restricts the movement and suspends the sensible and individual data of the image in the practical reality and thus, presents it with the immediacy of the intellectual world.

Through his 'Elbow' entitled installation, Savaş KARABACAK creates analogies of the present object and its functions with the human body.

'Halloween' of Sedat AYHAN points out to a language in which the hidden truth of the person emerges as the product of unconsciousness.

Through their work entitled 'Residue', Didem ERBAŞ-Eren SULAMACI present the results of the criticism against indirect resistance and disappearance of reality in representation.

Emrah ÖNAL's sculpture work entitled 'Person' refers to the self-recognition process of the individual.

Hilal GÜLER's 'Intentionally Blank Book' created from the blank pages at the end of the books provides us with an invitation to continue the narration as well as to enter into dialogue with the author.

The speed and motion in cities is causing a kind of touch-crisis by cutting off the relation of people with others and things, and thus alienating from each other. While the missing images entering the frame in Maral HEKİMYAN's drawing emphasize this crisis, on the other hand, it strives to overcome the paint in detail with an artisan touch.

These art works of contemporary content give us hope of a humanity concerning the future, to give its "worldly" state back to the world.

1. Nilüfer GÖLE, 'On Postcolonialism with Nilüfer Göle', Sociology Review, 2010, p.106
2. Ali AKAY, 'Art Actual Is Not The Alias of Contemporary Art', http://www.radikal.com, 21.10.2007