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Exhibition ""Water Work"" at Siemens Sanat

Exhibition "Water Work" at Siemens Sanat

Siemens Sanat continues to support young artists with the new exhibition.


Xerxes was very angry when he learned of the disaster, and gave orders that the Hellespont should receive three hundred lashes and have a pair of fetters thrown into it. I have heard before now that he also sent people to brand it with hot irons. (Herodotus, Histories 7.35)


Since old, the Bosphorus has figured as site, metaphor, and material of İstanbul as a city on the border of continents, religions, and languages. For millennia, İstanbul, the old Byzantium and Constantinople, has been the capital of empires, and again today, it finds itself as a major city in one the fastest growing economies in the world.


In the fluid history through which İstanbul is stil moving, the Bosphorus, its location, geography, and weather, has been one of the main actors: inhibiting or facilitating migration from West to East and vice versa, trading between the Euxine and Mediterranean Seas, as locus of economic circulation, urban gentrification, and drifting populations, as symbol of division and cohesion. In all its continuously changing appearances, it has remained paradoxically the only continuous factor in the successions of historic ruptures.


On another level, the water of the Bosphorus also symbolizes to incessant mixing, and sulandırılmış (watering down) of ethnic, political, and religious movements that bridged its flow. Whether court plots slowly sinking into marshes of political intrigue, the washing away of urban liberties by rural customs, or the dilation of ideological motives in the whirlpool of economic boom.


Due to its geographical positioning, its form and shape, the Bosphorus cannot be ignored in daily İstanbul life. It needs to be crossed by boat or by bridge, housing prices depend on its view, and suburbanity is defined by its absence. No longer a border, it is of constant influence on everyday movements, slowing down traveling time as a relatively empty interpunction between cars and crowds, a flat surface as a counterpoint to the hills rising up on both shores. The Bosphorus allows İstanbul to breathe.


The research project Su İş attempts to investigate and engage the Bosphorus in its metaphorical, site-specific, geographical, economic, and historical aspects. How does the Bosphorus operate as actor within contemporary İstanbul, not unlike the body of water Xerxes was so eager to punish after a storm had destroyed the bridge he had built to invade Greece with.


Four weeks of in situ research will form the basis of a series of interventions whose documentation is presented in this exhibition entitled Su İş (Water Work) in Siemens Sanat Art Gallery, on the shores of the Bosphorus.


The final exhibition includes works by Maurice Abath, Melis Bagatir, Manuel Beltrán, Áron Birtalan, Serpil Çetinkaya, Merve Denizci, Alican Durbaş, Serap Gümüşoğlu, Naci Güneş Güven, Claudia Hansen, Pim van der Heiden, Roel Heremans, Frederic Janssen, Hacer Kıroğlu, Volkan Kızıltunç, Davut Köse, Sterre Konijn, Lucas Kramer, Can Kurucu, Ilgın Özer, Gisella Ripoll, Ronald Schelfhout, Recep Serbest, Daniel Slabosky, Özer Toraman and Egemen Tuncer.


The research project Su İş is initiated and curated by Ass. Prof. Mürteza Fidan (Fine Arts Department, Marmara University, İstanbul), Dr. Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (Interfaculty ArtScience, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague), Prof. T. Melih Görgün (Design Department, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, İstanbul) and Gosse de Kort MMus BArch (Interfaculty ArtScience/T.I.M.E. Department, Royal Academy of Art / Royal Conservatoire, The Hague).


Press Release