Two new articles from ArtLeaks and Hyperallergic about Istanbul Modern’s censorship and our campaign



A panel discussion at the İstanbul Museum of Modern Art earlier this week turned into a debate on censorship and the state of contemporary art in Turkey after the museum decided not to include an artist’s work in a recent auction. The museum is privately funded by the Eczacıbaşı Group, a prominent Turkish industrial group of companies founded by the Eczacıbaşı family, which provided the initial investment and project management finance as well as the core collection of paintings.
_____________________________________

Rumeysa Kiger reports for the Istanbul news source Today’s Zaman:

Earlier in the month, the museum had removed a work by Bubi Hayon (David Hayon) from its program for an invitation-only auction night titled “Gala Modern,” to which several artists had been invited to donate works of art or objects to in an effort to raise money for the museum’s educational programs. The piece was a wooden chair with a chamber pot for its seat. In response, Hayon issued a press release, arguing that the museum’s decision amounted to censorship. The museum, on the other hand, claimed that it had the right to choose which works of art to include in the event and that Hayon’s contribution had not met the proper criteria.

Artists announced on Monday through social networking sites that they had decided to devote the [aforementioned] panel discussion to such issues as transparency and private and public institutions as well as artists’ rights. The panel was initially organized as part of the museum’s ongoing exhibition “Dream and Reality,” a chronicle of the works of female artists from Turkey since the 1900s. But discussion at the event, attended by more than 80 members of the art scene took on a life of its own after panelist Mürüvvet Türkyılmaz announced that she would be withdrawing her work from the show in response to İstanbul Modern’s actions. The audience then raised questions and voiced concerns about an array of problems related to several forms of censorship dominating the current art world in Turkey, a lack of organization among artists and problems caused due to the fact that all major cultural institutions in the country are backed by various corporate entities and the lack of transparency in their activities.

The Istanbul-based Today’s Zaman published one of the first English-language articles on this conflict. They go on to explain that Türkyılmaz has been joined by seven other artists – Ceren Öyküt, Gözde İlkin, Güneş Terkol, İnci Furni, Ekin Saçlıoğlu, Neriman Polat, Leyla Gediz and the artist collective, AtılKunst, who have all requested that the museum remove their works from the exhibition in protest.
_____________________________________

Hrag Vartanian from Hyperalllergic also reports:

There are claims of censorship in Istanbul as eight artists and an artist collective have made a joint decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Modern museum’s ongoing Reality and Dream exhibition, which chronicles the works of female artists from Turkey since the 1900s. The controversy began when artist Bubi Hayon’s work was rejected during a charity auction for the Turkish museum then during a panel discussion at the museum earlier this week artist Mürüvvet Türkyılmaz announced that she would be withdrawing her work from the show in response to museum’s actions. The debate has since snowballed into a discussion about the role of contemporary art in Turkey and the problems associated with the fact that all major cultural institutions in the country are backed by corporate entities that lack transparency. […]

Hürriyet Daily News reports that on December 27 a number of artists entered Istanbul Modern with a protest banner that read “There is censorship in this museum.” The reporter also spoke to the artist who gave a context for the claims of censorship:

First Istanbul Modern requested a work, without telling me any concept. They told me that they wanted to exhibit the work during the gala night and then make the work a part of the exclusive catalogue,” Bubi (David Hayon) told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The artist says the museum informed him he free to create what he wanted:

Upon this request Hayon created a large seat with a bed pan in the middle of it.

With this work I have criticized the general museum idea which came from 1900s,” said Hayon, adding that he criticized the “sacred” idea of visiting a museum. “My aim was not to be political.”

However, things did not go as Hayon planned. The museum refused to collect the work and did not exhibit it. “It is not important whether they like it. There is something more important than that,” Hayon said.

The approach was more like a censorship process, according to Hayon. “The work was found contradictious and inconvenient.”

The International Association of Art Critics’s Turkish division and the strangely named Turkish National Committee of the International Plastic Arts Association are supporting Istanbul Modern’s position and they have offered their definition of censorship, which they claim can only be called as such if a third party, such as a government, a local authority, a ministry, a municipality or the police, were involved.

This debate comes at a time when Turkey is proving to be a growing presence in the international art scene with a burgeoning gallery scene, growing museum culture and contemporary art auctions that have attracted the attention of secondary market watchers.
________________________________

The artists currently boycotting the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art have started a petition online in Turkish/English, asking the institution to apologize to artist Bubi Hayon and the art community as a whole:

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”. […]

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.”

_______________________________________

More details around this case forthcoming. As of now the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art plans to go ahead with the exhibition Reality and Dream, without the works of the artists that have pulled out in protest. We thank the artists involved and their supporters for drawing our attention to this conflict and we will continue to report on the case.



Artists Pull Works from Istanbul Modern Over Censorship Claims


There are claims of censorship in Istanbul as eight artists and an artist collective have made a joint decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Modern museum’s ongoing Reality and Dreamexhibition, which chronicles the works of female artists from Turkey since the 1900s. The controversy began when artist Bubi Hayon’s work was rejected during a charity auction for the Turkish museum then during a panel discussion at the museum earlier this week artist Mürüvvet Türkyılmaz announced that she would be withdrawing her work from the show in response to museum’s actions. The debate has since snowballed into a discussion about the role of contemporary art in Turkey and the problems associated with the fact that all major cultural institutions in the country are backed by corporate entities that lack transparency.
The matter has been percolating on Facebook and other social networks all week but numerous attempts by Hyperallergic to reach the artists for comment have so far proven unsuccessful.

Today, the Istanbul-based news source Today’s Zaman has published one of the first English-language articles on the controversy. They explain that Türkyılmaz has been joined by seven other artists (Ceren Öyküt, Gözde İlkin, Güneş Terkol, İnci Furni, Ekin Saçlıoğlu, Neriman Polat, Leyla Gediz) and one artist collective, AtılKunst, who have all requested that the museum remove their works from the exhibition.

According to Today’s Zaman:

Asked whether the museum will hand the artists their works of art back, İstanbul Modern’s chief curator Levent Çalıkoğlu told Today’s Zaman on Thursday that the museum “respects the decision of the artists and will act in accordance with their requests.”

A source close to the artists tells Hyperallergic that the artists are working on a press release now and it will be available shortly. The group has started a Turkish/English petition online and they are asking the museum to apologize to Hayon and the city’s art community as a whole.

Hürriyet Daily News reports that on December 27 a number of artists entered Istanbul Modern with a protest banner that read “There is censorship in this museum.” The reporter also spoke to the artist who gave a context for the claims of censorship:

First Istanbul Modern requested a work, without telling me any concept. They told me that they wanted to exhibit the work during the gala night and then make the work a part of the exclusive catalogue,” Bubi (David Hayon) told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The artist says the museum informed him he free to create what he wanted:

Upon this request Hayon created a large seat with a bed pan in the middle of it.

With this work I have criticized the general museum idea which came from 1900s,” said Hayon, adding that he criticized the “sacred” idea of visiting a museum. “My aim was not to be political.”

However, things did not go as Hayon planned. The museum refused to collect the work and did not exhibit it. “It is not important whether they like it. There is something more important than that,” Hayon said.

The approach was more like a censorship process, according to Hayon. “The work was found contradictious and inconvenient.”

This entry was posted in art, bubi, censorship, istanbul modern, museum by omosis. Bookmark the permalink.

About omosis

Selected exhibitions, activities: 2013 Artist presentation: "Being in Sweden, being an immigrant, being an artist", Adaevi, Museum of the Princes' Islands, İstanbul, Turkey "Yersiz: Kader Birliği", Mardin, Kızıltepe, Turkey “Ja jag vill leva jag vill dö”, Tegen 2, Stockholm "Vilken tur! Himlen omfamnar oss!" / "What luck! The sky embraces us!" / "Ne şans! Gökyüzü hepimizi sarıyor!" Photography Exhibition, Ideas and Innovation Fair, Stockholm "Milat" Exhibition for Hrant, Getronagan Lisesi'nden Yetişenler Derneği, Harbiye / Rumeli Han C blok 6.Kat - Beyoğlu, İstanbul 2012 Migration Connections Project 2012 Exhibition, Museum of the Princes' Islands, İstanbul, Turkey Edinburgh Middle Eastern Film Festival, Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Artist Talking and Screening, Agent Ria, Still Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 2011 Ars retorica, Hall the university library of Paris 8 – Saint Denis, France The Exhibition on the 20th Anniversary of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey: Where Fire Has Struck, DEPO Istanbul, Turkey 2010 PAI 2010-2011 in Thebes, Conference Center of Thebes, Greece International Media Arts Festival Videfesta’10: Archive Fever, Goethe Institute, Ankara, Turkey Temps D'Images Portugal 2010 Festival Film Award for Films on Art section "From childhood to police station" Exhibition, Free Expantion Platform, Istanbul, Turkey HEP Iran screening, Sazmanab Project, Tehran, Iran AthensArt 2010 contemporary art exhibition, Athens, Greece PAI 2010 contemporary art exhibition, Samothrace, Greece "Thistles of Sazak" screening and exhibition, 7th Karaburun Festival, Izmir, Turkey Distance Festival, London, UK "Artist Cinema", Art Beijing, China Over trubled water, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden Ankara International Film Festival, "Video: Spaces of Memory", Ankara, Turkey Direct Channell, Canakkale' Turkey !F Istanbul Film Festival 2010 online program: See it yourself (This village)' Istanbul, Turkey HEP Screening, AFA Beijing, China Tornavideo, Tamirhane, Ankara, Turkey 2009 “Projected Visions: 35 years of Turkish video art” exhibition Meeting Europe - Istanbul, Wacken Exhibition Centre, Strasbourg, France HEP (Human Emotion Project) Screening, AFA @ Portuguese Bookshop Gallery, Macau, China co-exhibition "Dirty Story", BM Suma, Istanbul, Turkey HEP (Human Emotion Project) Screening, Caldas-da-Rainha, Portugal HEP Screening, Berlin, Germany "Thistles of Sazak", art performance, Karaburun, Izmir, Turkey "Istanbul-Off-Spaces" co-exhibition, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany co-exhibition "Interzone:Nation", Gallery Galzenica, Zagreb, Croatia HEP Screening, LaSala in Cigunuela, Spain HEP screening, Melbourne, Australia "Varning för klämrisk", Solo Exhibition, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden to Ankara International Film Festival, Ankara, Turkey 2008 1st Int. Roaming Biennial of Tehran, Berlin, Germany "Hög på Golvet" group exhibition at Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden 1st Int. Roaming Biennial of Tehran, Istanbul, Turkey International Mail Art Project 2008, Conceptual Continuity Supermarket 2008 Art Fair with Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden 2007 "Fear of god" co-exhibition, Hafriyat Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey "Bodrum Film Festival", Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey "Jag, min husses hund" group exhibition, Tegen 2, Stockholm, Sweden "Nightcomers" project in the 10th Biennial of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey Scope NYC [PAM], Scope Art Fair, Lincoln Center, New York, USA 2006 co-exhibition "Labyrint" in Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden Artist's "Sann dialog" ("Real dialogue") contemporary art activity has been started. Stockholm, Sweden Artist sent his videoperformance named as "Öppet brev till Migrationsverket" to Migrationsverket ("Open letter to Sweden Migration Board") 51', Stockholm, Sweden 2004 Artist given his art-object named as "För uppehållsstillstånd" to Migrationsverket ("For residence permission"), Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "Bridge from east to west", BBK Karlsruhe, Germany 2003 co-exhibition of AIAP "Hal/iç" with work name the "Difficult sleep". Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey 2002 co-exhibition "Arts Plastiques" in METU Spring Festival at METU Congre Center, Ankara, Turkey co-exhibition "A travel into life" at Kargart, Istanbul, Turkey 2001 "Sometimes when I'm high, I watch TV", video performance screening, Dulcinea, Istanbul, Turkey Artist's "Solitudo" contemporary art activity has been started. A solo contemporary art exhibition with 210 participants: I want my mirrors. Dulcinea Istanbul, Turkey 2000 co-exhibition "Veritas Omnia Vincit", Istanbul, Turkey Artist's "I want my mirrors" contemporary art activity has been started, Istanbul, Turkey 1999 "2th Interbalcanic Symposium of Visual Arts" and co-exhibition, Samotrache/Greece 1998 "...self", solo exhibition. Dulcinea, Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "The Other", Istanbul, Turkey 1996 "Citypaintings", solo exhibition. Habitat II/NGO Forum '96 art activities, Istanbul, Turkey Publication of book of poems: "Limpin Bird" (Aksak Kus) (168 page, 81 poem, 81 picture), Istanbul, Turkey 1995 Fourth Biennial of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey co-exhibition "Young Activity/Borders and Beyong", Istanbul, Turkey 1991 Short film maker and director, ("Everything is as it is", 24', 16 mm. Included in TRT's "Young Cinematographers" programme), Istanbul, Turkey

Bir Cevap Yazın

Aşağıya bilgilerinizi girin veya oturum açmak için bir simgeye tıklayın:

WordPress.com Logosu

WordPress.com hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Twitter resmi

Twitter hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Facebook fotoğrafı

Facebook hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Google+ fotoğrafı

Google+ hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Connecting to %s