artists & participants

press release

Ahmet Öğüt's (b. 1981 in Diyarbakιr, TR, lives and works in Amsterdam, NL) work encompasses various media. Wherever I go I see your shadow behind me—the title Öğüt chose for his exhibition in the RICOCHET series at the Museum Villa Stuck—is indicative of his historical consciousness and of the system of coordinates that he uses for his oeuvre. Öğüt's examination of history is based on his close study and thorough research of the relevant topics. He focuses on society's constraints, its rules and its absurdities.

Öğüt's art draws attention to history's "gaps" or what could be termed as undefined issues of the socio-political structure. Öğüt's interest in exploring the byroads of official history is central to the works in this exhibition. Exhibits include the artist's books Today in History (2007) and On the Road to Other Lands(2008), the videos Guppy 13 vs Ocean Wave (2010) and Things We Count (2009) as well as an installation that refers to Hrant Dink titled The Pigeon-like Unease of my Inner Spirit (2009)—and is guided by the wish to transform collective memory in favour of a plurality of historical narratives.

The installation Exploded City (2009), which was conceived by Öğüt for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 2009 Venice Biennale, becomes the "3-D archive" of a topography of violence. It stands as a cipher for the victims of the attacks and the tragedy and as a symbol of our fears. Exploded City is the distorted picture of an urban Utopia, pervaded by memory and a melancholic atmosphere.

For his show at Villa Stuck, Öğüt devised a form of intervention art by decreasing the ceiling height of the exhibition space to 1.55 metres, resulting in a change in perspective and likewise in the angle from which his work Exploded City is viewed. This not only confounds visitors' perception of the gallery and, by extension, of the exhibition, but also demands a reassessment of the second floor's function as utility rooms in the historic villa of Franz von Stuck (1863–1928). Such irony and humour, reflective of the tongue-in-cheek approach that is so characteristic of Ögüt's work, allows him to reach a broad audience.

Accompanying programme: 16 January 2011: The Recent History of Daily Utopias, film programme curated by Ahmet Ögüt at Werkstattkino, Munich.

The exhibition is curated by Verena Hein and is part of the exhibition series RICOCHET.

RICOCHET The exhibition series RICOCHET at the former residence of Munich's "Prince of Art" Franz von Stuck (1863–1928) has already presented the work of three other contemporary artists: Cris Koch, Samantha Dietmar and Hito Steyerl. Their works, like that of Ahmet Öğüt, reflect on the discourses of our time and address topical political or social issues, rendering them open to reconsideration through aesthetic transformation. RICOCHET intervenes, reverberates and leaves traces—as can be seen in the Museum Villa Stuck's exhibition programme—and at the same time opens up new perspectives and approaches to art.

Each exhibition in the series is accompanied by an illustrated book in German/English, published by Kerber Young Edition, Cris Koch: ISBN 978-3-86678-389-8 | Samantha Dietmar: ISBN 978-3-86678-402-4 | Hito Steyerl: ISBN 978-3-86678-411-6 | Ahmet Öğüt: ISBN 978-3-86678-426-0

only in german

Ausstellungsserie RICOCHET:

Wherever / go / see your shadow behind me
Ahmet Ogut
Kurator: Verena Hein