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12 April 2023, workshop: istanbul on display

On 12 April 2023, the Centre will hold a workshop centring on the representation of Istanbul in Germany through several exhibitions since 2000.


The global curatorial and artistic narratives about artists from Turkey have resulted in several critiques of European representational strategies that are predominately centred on geographical, cultural and national identities. In consequence, an increasing number of critical artistic and curatorial practices have emerged that attempt to transcend and challenge the art world’s reductionist, Eurocentric tendencies, such as casting doubt on conventional stereotypes of East vs. West and the construction of ‘Other’.

With global connectedness and disconnectedness as framing concepts, this workshop aims to explore the tensions that emerge from this dichotomy and how they relate to representations of Istanbul through several exhibitions in Germany since 2000. By exploring this context as a complex relationship of global interconnectivity, it aims to identify gaps, limitations and tensions in the globalisation processes of contemporary art from Turkey by considering the politics of art and exhibition politics in Europe.

This workshop’s main objective is to contribute to a decolonial discussion on the globalization of contemporary art from Turkey by focusing on exhibition strategies and artistic forms of resistance. This involves sharing knowledge to understand globalisation and its intricate structures from a variety of perspectives. The workshop is a forum for debate and dialogue, bringing together scholars, artists, and curators to further develop this research and share from their own areas of expertise.




09:00–09:30 Welcome; Introduction (Burcu Dogramaci, Ayse Güngör)


09:30–10:00 Coffee break


10:00–10:45 Levent Soysal, Seeing east: Istanbul, art, civilizing process


10:45–11:30 Barbara Wolbert, Hung up on Istanbul: contemporary art from Turkey in Germany – exhibition strategies and artists’ resistance until the 2000s


11:30–12:15 Banu Karaca, From multiculturalism to diversity: The continued seductiveness of orientalism and its discourses


12:15–13:45 Lunch


13:45–15:00 – Erden Kosova, Contacting with the external gaze: promises and failures of the contemporary art practice in Turkey


15:00–15:45 Isil Egrikavuk – “But You Don’t Look Turkish”: From Everyday Life Experiences to Academic Work, Stories of Identity Labeling


15:45–16:15 Coffee break


16:15–17:00 Ayse Erek, Spatial imagination and contemporary artistic practice in Istanbul


17:00 – 18.00 Comments and discussion


Registration via this link