press release

You are kindly invited to attend the opening of the exhibition of Ahmet Ögüt, a young artist from Turkey, on Monday, 20 June 2005, at 8 p.m. Until the age of seventeen, Ögüt (born in 1981) had not ventured beyond the region surrounding Diyarbakir in the East of Turkey, the city of his birth. It was only then that he travelled to Ankara to study painting and illustration at University. Currently he lives and works in Istanbul. He was recently selected as the first artist from Turkey to receive a three-month residency in Basel, Switzerland, with the support of Pro Helvetia. His recent exhibitions include the Situated Self at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, and at the Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki (2005); Placebo effect at the Sparwasser HQ, Berlin (2004); the 5. Cetinje Biennial at the National Museum Montenegro (2004), and I need a radical change! at the Gallery Nova, Zagreb (2004). The present exhibition is his first solo show outside his native country.

Ahmet Ögüt works in various media (photography, video, performance, drawing, and artist’s books), often in collaboration with other artists (thus he produced Coloring Book with Sener Özmen in 2004). Characteristic of him are his sensitivity for social issues, a creative broadness, and an element of humor. In the exhibition at the Mala Galerija he will exhibit two videos, What a Lovely Day (2004), and Cut It Out (2005). What a Lovely Day is a video about the police stopping and searching a young man. It is an enactment of things Ö?üt has heard about in relation to the secret police operations in Turkey. Cut It Out is Ö?üt’s commentary on the American attack on Iraq; a young man, presumably from the USA, sits on the floor in a pair of pants printed with an American flag motif and, posing as an Iraq posted soldier, curses the war and the pointlessness of it all. The show will also present a photograph of one of Ögüt’s early performances Halisaha, which references specific issues important to him as a Kurd, pop-up books that revisit in an ironical way the troubled cultural and political conditions in the South-East of Turkey, where the artist is from, and two photo narratives called Somebody Else’s Car; the narratives are based on two performances where the artist transformed two cars in a parking lot into a taxi and a police car by simply covering them with colored paper. The guest curator of this exhibition is Vasif Kortun, a renowned curator and art critic who was the founding director of the museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York. Presently he is the director of Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center in Istanbul; he will co-curate the Istanbul Biennial in 2005.


only in german

Ahmet Ogut
Kurator: Vasif Kortun