We as people of art and culture, who are not agreeing with those statements with similar contents regarding the censorship debate, made by Turkish branch of International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and Turkish National Committee of the International Plastic Arts Association (UNESCO AIAP) the same day,
Comprehend the justification of İstanbul Modern’s chief curator Mr. Levent Çalıkoğlu, the refusal of the work of art with it’s given state, however following to the artist’s reaction, backing to conditional acceptance propositions which are totally destroying and transmuting the artwork’s given context, as a clear, rude, conditional censorship regardless of whatever the issue might have been among Bubi Hayon, his work of art “Oturak” (stool) and the establishment.
We observe that, Turkish branch of International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and Turkish National Committee of the International Plastic Arts Association (UNESCO AIAP) along with many artists who had chosen silence and mannerlessness, simply consider the behaviors of the market actors who take the “sensitivity” of the political and administrative powers, conservative bodies who has recently developed a passion for art collectorship as a threat and their interference with the artworks, as “the nature of commerce”.
Now we believe the situation is even more serious.
It would be impossible to think of Istanbul Modern and it’s chief curator Mr. Levent Çalıkoğlu to be totally unaware of the type of works created by these eight artists throughout their careers prior to demanding “artworks with funds originated from their exhibit and sales to be donated to the museum and their activity”.
One should make sure that, Bubi Hayon has been censored, since in his own expression “in order to underline that artwork is not tabu or anything sacret and the museums are not temples”, he has come up in front of Istanbul Modern and it’s chief curator Mr. Levent Çalıkoğlu with a gold and bronze composite stool, which is, in it’s submitted form and context, a mature sample of continuum of his creation genre, well known to all of us.
For us, “Istanbul Modern” and “Levent Çalıkoğlu” are only the names of an establishment and it’s curator who can only consider a chair exhibit-able and marketable to the collectors only with it’s stool portion -ie. the submitted context- either removed or totally covered, hidden, obscured, slaughtered; as a silhouette.
For a modern art institution which is established either by private sector or government, whatever it is the amount of funds required for its activities, whoever it may address as collectors, for us, to defend the right to slaughter freedom of artistic creation or the freedom of transformation of the artistic creativity progress, furthermore to defend them insolently and immeasurably would be impossible.
Those artworks defined with different eligibility; not as “Acceptable”, “presentable to the collectors” or “marketable” but “selected for or considerable for exhibit” would never absolve this establishment’s or it’s chief curator’s acts for us. (It would not change our mind even if we are reminded that “hypocrisy is within the nature of commerce”)
On the contrary, the identification definitions as “Istanbul Modern” and it’s chief curator “Levent Çalıkoğlu” would remain invalid, at least for us, until an apology is made both to the modern art environment and to all artists primarily to Bubi Hayon.
We consider the whole course starting with the first moment of acceptance of the invitation, the creation of such an artwork, submission and the withdrawal and press release following to the applied fearless censorship, as Bubi Hayon’s “artistical existence, activity, production”, applaud “oturak” which, surely will gain “value” day by day, for underlining an issue with serious lack of awareness in Turkish art society, and declare that until an apology is made, we are not any longer interested in participating to any artistic platform organized by Istanbul Modern, at where may be some other time, the same “Oturak” (stool) is to be exhibited, by the same or a different chief curator and with it’s “submitted context untouched”.
Our guiding free spirit is awareness of our existence and surely is R. Mutt’s “Fountain”.
Alphabetical list of signer artists, designers, musicians, illustrators, freelance or affiliated curators, directors of biennials and art institutions, art critics, art writers, art historians, art directors, art academics, art educators, art students, social scientists:
Ali Akay, Hakan Akçura, Rüçhan Şahinoğlu Altınel, Fırat Arapoğlu, Burak Arıkan, Laleper Aytek, Bülent Barın, Şen Barkan, Bahadır Baruter, Murat Başol, Erim Bayrı, Ege Berensel, Ertan Birgül, Hüma Birgül, Hülya Botasun, Lütfiye Bozdağ, Gül Çağın, Selen Çatalyürekli, Emine Corduk, Özge Çelikaslan, Burak Delier, Özgür Demirci, Cansu Demiröz, Pelin Derviş, Hüsnü Dokak, Övül Durmuşoğlu, Elvan Ekren, Asuman Ercan, Ceren Erdem, Fulya Erdemci, Didem Erk, Özgür Erkök, Özge Ersoy, Ekmel Ertan, Murat Ertel, Alp Esin, Deniz Gül, Genco Gülan, Ali Gürevin, Ayşe Gülay Hakyemez, Hakan Gürsoytrak, Deniz Ilgaz, Aslı Işıksal, Şule Kangüleç, Funda Karadağ, Gülfem Kessler, Selen Korkut, Vasıf Kortun, Erden Kosova, Seyit Battal Kurt, Mahmut Wenda Koyuncu, Raziye Kubat, Özlem Şekercioğlu Lesport, Beral Madra, Aşık Mene, Barış Mengütay, Serpil Odabaşı, İrfan Okan, Bager Oğuz Oktay, Alev Oskay, Yeliz Oskay, Suat Öğüt, Deniz M. Örnek, Zeynep Özatalay, Şefik Özcan, Aykan Özener, Önder Özengi, Dilara Özgül, Ferhat Özgür, İz Öztat, Yavuz Parlar, Tayfun Polat, Lebriz Rona, Necla Rüzgar, Ahmet A. Sabancı, Menekşe Samancı, Esra Sarıgedik, Niyazi Selçuk, Gonca Sezer, Şebnem Somel, Başak Şenova, Damla Tamer, Zeyneb Taşcı, Faika Berat Taşkıran, Orhan Taylan, Elif Gül Tirben, Tuğba Turan, Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Tahir Ün, Merve Ünsal, Arzu Yayıntaş, Adnan Yıldız, Demet Yoruç, Binnur Berkholz Zengin
(Translator: Zeyneb Taşçı)