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ASLI ÇAVUŞOĞLU “PATCHWORK” Exhibition May 5th – July 1st

Krank Art Gallery hosts artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu in a new exhibition, “Patchwork”, curated by Ali Akay. Through the intersection of three different artistic works; Red / Red a work focusing on an ancient red colour, artificially produced gems (The Stones Talk), and imitation jewellery exposed on photographic paper, the artist reveals a history that seems to belong to a realm of simulacrum.

In her solo exhibition “Patchwork”, Aslı Çavuşoğlu prepares a jigsaw puzzle consisting of the fragments of three of her works. The first piece of this jigsaw puzzle in the gallery is a variation of her work Red / Red, realised during the 14th Istanbul Biennial. This work that presents a story through colour was created using a special red pigment that has been used since 7th century BC, obtained from an insect living on the banks of the Aras River. This insect, called “Ararat Cochineal”, is on the verge of extinction on the Armenian side of the Aras River. On the Turkish side, the technique of producing this dye, used mostly by Armenians living in Anatolia, ceased to exist after 1915. The insect that lives on the roots of a plant found on the banks of the Aras River, in a sense, serves as the border between Turkey and Armenia, and tries to cling to life on both sides. Red, as a colour, exists as a way of creating a “common space”. The colour red, produced by a centuries old technique, alludes both to vitality and to death. In the words of the artist, this special red is able to generate a certain energy on its own and draw us towards it.

In pursuit of the only person in the world still producing this dye, Çavuşoğlu found herself at the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan, and produced drawings and notebooks inspired by the manuscripts and traditional Armenian miniatures at the institute. While the work tells the story of the disappearance of this pigment on both sides of the river, it also initiates a new discussion about the contemporary use of tools of material culture through the way it shares the knowledge about the production of the pigment once again.

The second fragment of the jigsaw is composed of pieces from another work of the artist, called “The Stones Talk”. The starting point of “The Stones Talk” are archaeological artefacts found at various excavations in Turkey, deemed “not worthy” of being exhibited, and considered to be “study pieces” that are not valuable enough to be “museum pieces” as they were incomplete or insignificant. Making copies of a selection of study pieces of her choice, the artist created new “wholes” out of these copies reproduced in different materials. Discussing the selective nature of the writing of history in her works, in “The Stones Talk” Aslı Çavuşoğlu reflects on the value system based on classification that we see at archaeological museums, while pursuing the potentials of creating narratives with archaeological and historical information, and telling polyphonic stories through objects.

The third fragment that constitutes the jigsaw in the exhibition Patchwork are pieces of historical Ottoman jewellery. The increasing Ottoman nostalgia in recent years is manifested in the so-called “Ottoman lifestyle”, and its most prominent example is the popular appeal of the television series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century). The outfits of the characters and their jewellery have become popular as symbols of the Ottoman lifestyle, and have artificially recreated the Ottoman heritage. In this part of the jigsaw, we see photograms of these jewellery, the cheap imitations that swarm the retail stores and that have become even more artificial through mass production. These were produced by exposing imitation jewellery on photographic paper. The photograms of these modern reproduction sets are the same as the photographs of the jewels in Ottoman archives, but with one difference; this time the photograms create a gap in our minds that would make room for new interpretations.

A history that seems to start belonging to a realm of simulacrum emerges out of the intersection of the three different artistic works. The simulacra that are no longer models, now consist of pieces that function on their own and compose their own models in an artistic fashion, and as such, become pieces of original artwork. While the pieces exist in a world desired to be perceived as reality, the artworks meet the viewer in an arrangement of a jigsaw puzzle named “Patchwork” by Aslı Çavuşoğlu. So now, the story writes itself from scratch, in the way it wishes.

About Aslı Çavuşoğlu

A graduate of Marmara University, Department of Cinema-TV, Aslı Çavuşoğlu (1982, Istanbul) lives and works in Istanbul.

Solo Exhibitions;

2016 Red/Red, MATHAF: Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar

2015 Murder in Three Acts, The Market Gallery, Glasgow, UK

In Diverse Estimations, Gallery Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb, Croatia

2014 Aslı Çavuşoğlu: In Diverse Estimations Little Moscow, Risd Museum, USA

2013 Murder in Three Acts, Delfina Foundation, London

The Stones Talk, ARTER, Istanbul

Murder in Three Acts, Gallery NON, Istanbul

2012 Art Basel Miami

2010 How I Traveled Around the World, Gallery NON, Istanbul

Selected Group Exhibitions;

2017 Colori, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy

2016 On Exactitude in Science, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Manifesta 11: What Do People Do For Money, Zurich; How Did We Get Here?, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Cuenca Biennial, Cuenca, Ecuador; Replaced, RAMPA, Istanbul

2015 Surround Audience, The New Museum Triennial, NY, USA; His Master’s Voice: On Voice and Language, Montpellier, France; The School of Kyiv, Second Kyiv International Biennale, Kiev, Ukraine; How Did We Get Here, SALT, Istanbul; Salt Water, The 14th Istanbul Biennial

2014 Proposals on Monumentality, Green Art Gallery, Dubai; The Moving Museum, Istanbul; Il Delitto Quasi Perfecto, PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy; The Crime Was Almost Perfect, Witte de With Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

2013 Conversations, Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan; Suspicious Minds, Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Husumet, Rezalet, ARTER, Istanbul; Signs Taken in Wonder, MAK Museum, Vienna, Austria

2012 The 11th Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius, Lithuania; Turkish Art Nice and Superb, TANAS, Berlin, Germany; Soundworks, ICA, London, UK

2011 Performa 11, New York, USA; 7 Works, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul

2010 When Ideas Become Crime, DEPO, Istanbul; G Have a Look! Have a Look!, Formcontent, London, UK; Fantasy&Island, Frac Corse, Corsica, France

2009 This Place You See Has No Size At All, Paris, France; Interferencia, Bogota, Colombia; End Game, Gallery Loop, Seoul, Korea

2008 You can’t kiss away a murder, Galerist, Istanbul; On Producibility, Altı Aylık (Turkey) / Nuans (Germany), New Talents, Cologne, Germany; Hypnosis Show, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, USA

2007 Be a realist, demand the impossible!, Karşı Sanat Gallery, Istanbul; TR 10º Kunst: Wilhelmsburger Freitag, Hamburg, Germany; Urban Pedestals_Cph, Copenhagen, Denmark

2006 Caiet de Geografie, Masa, Istanbul; Reserved, Pist, Istanbul; InforNATION, PiartWorks, Istanbul

2005 That from a long way off look like flies, Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul



Krank Art Gallery hosts artist Elif Çelebi in “Not Withdrawn from the Ecosystem”, a new exhibition curated by Ali Akay. The artist fills the gallery space with her watercolours that reveal a holistic idea of nature encompassing all living things regardless of the distinction of human-animal-plant.

As a scientific discipline examining the life environment and interactions among living things, ecology constitutes a prominent feature in the works of the artist. The bonds between man and man, man and society, and man and animal belong to a line of thought that does not “hold on to memory” but strides onwards.

The destruction of the ecosystem by an industrialising sociality that asserts its dominion over nature and over the animal constitutes a conceptual part of the work of Çelebi.

Confronting the development of human thought with an aim of establishing domination over nature, through each and every piece in the exhibition “Not Withdrawn from the Ecosystem” the artist postulates that the possibility of transitivity between the living and the inanimate could only be attained through rethinking the system that is created by the bonds formed through the interaction of these entities.

In these works, in which she has an appreciation of the non-hierarchical and where she concentrates on an idea of nature that could exist without resorting to separation, the fluid effects of the material lets the drawings and colours transport the viewer to a world that is as alien as it is familiar. By way of the forms of the sexes that provide them with permeability, it is not sexuality but a poetica of ambiguous genders that is pursued.

Since beginning her pursuit of a life in art in the 1990s, the vast majority of Elif Çelebi’s watercolours and videos focus not really on advocating animal rights but on considering animals, as well as people and plants, to be regarded as living beings. These animals, which are part of her intellectual adventure in her own world, appear not as “herself or her possessions” but wrapped up in a concept that focuses on perceiving them as beings with whom we should cohabitate the world. In Çelebi’s works, narratives about her personal history undergo a process of arranging and re-experiencing the past, and concept of time-memory seems to be preserved within images through objects and things. The intermingling of meaning and object makes it into a world belonging not to the artist but to the viewer.

 About Elif Çelebi

Born in 1973 in Canada, after graduating from the Department of Painting at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts she completed her master’s degree and doctorate at Marmara University Institute of Fine Arts. She is currently an associate professor and lecturer at the Department of Painting at Marmara University.

Her solo exhibitions include “Nonsynchronous” at Maçka Art Gallery in 2013, “Animal Which We Become” exhibition curated by Ali Akay at Açık Ekran in 2012, as well as exhibitions at Room Gallery in Rotterdam and at Apartment Project.

The exhibition “Stay With Me” that was presented at Apartment Project Berlin and at Depo (formerly a tobacco warehouse) in 2015, “Re-Degeneration” at Sanatorium, “Chaotic Metamorphosis” at Proje 4L, the “Transfer” exhibitions at santralistanbul and at Münster, Aachen and Bochum in Germany, and the exhibition “Buradan Çok Uzakta: Bir Kamusal Alan Projesi” realised at Haydarpaşa and Ankara Train Stations are among the group exhibitions she participated in. Between 1999 and 2006, she also participated in various group exhibitions in Korea, Kazakhstan, Chile, France, Turkey, Kosovo, New Zealand, Bulgaria and Germany.


GÜNEŞ TERKOL “A WHISTLE THROUGH THE WORLD: HEY, WAIT!” Exhibition December 15 – February 18

In a new exhibition titled “A LIGHT THROUGH THE WORLD: HEY, WAIT!”, curated by Ali Akay, KRANK Art Gallery hosts the accomplished young artist Güneş Terkol, currently continuing her work in Paris at the Cité des Arts. Her delicate and translucent works almost place us in “a world of fairy tales,” adopting an attitude that is evanescent like fairy tales on the one hand and quite convincing on the other, and this time inviting the viewer into an enigmatic puzzle unfolding in a world of magic.

Producing works about the relationships between gender identities through the use of sewing, video, drawings and sound; the artist believes that work is a relationship involving waste, contradictions and relations. In her works she pursues signs, stories, words and dreams that motivate her and that she finds harmonious, to create new narratives out of them. So in starting a new work, she studies the notes and drawings in her old notebooks, and the fabrics and photographs she collects.

The artist’s work is shaped by the social conditions in which she lives, the images she encounters, her personal history and the materials she finds. The artist, looking for means of expression beyond the act of painting, uses pieces of fabric she collects to this end. Instead of heavy, unwieldly and expensive materials, she prefers to use economical, casual, easy-to-carry and unfettering tools in her artistic practice.

She creates figures belonging to an ambiguous time and space through the use of black contours produced by stitching and colouring the fabric directly, and with these figures hollowed out from content –sometimes rendered as human figures in an animal-like form– she presents stories with no definite beginning or end. When the figures, people and objects that Terkol represents in an abstract fashion are combined with the ‘reality’ of the fabric and the situations we are accustomed to seeing that fabric in, the works of the artist render the objects we think we recognize alien. This alienation is further reinforced by another tension emerging from the technique of sewing on fabric, between the images and the visual form through which the images are represented. The use of sewing –an act associated with women– as a means to create fictional images, and the unconventional utilisation of fabric –considered decorative and ‘feminine’– suggests that the artist is questioning her gender and her relationship with where her gender is placed in society.


Just like in fairy tales, the works of art appear to be part of a world of emotion where winds blow, rain falls, lightnings strike, jinn and fairies fly about, or they crawl the ground like serpents. The jinn, as beings that are not living but alive, which at times become visible and sometimes disappear due to the dialectical relations between darkness and light, are separated into male and female jinn in Güneş Terkol’s world of fairy tales. One thing we should not fail to notice is the fact that the place where these stories and fairy tales carry us and form a knot, again appears to bear the hallmark of a question of morality. The stories in Güneş Terkol’s works seem to be embroidered as part of our world. The abstracted figures, each visible and so very figurative, appear in front of us and lure us into looking at them. They are attractive and have a charming ephemerality and strangeness about their physical materials. Although it looks like there is no place for fairy tales in this city transformed by the system of capital, there will always be a place for Dünya in the world of art. Besides, isn’t that the real power of art? The power to bring together dream and reality!

About Güneş Terkol

Güneş Terkol takes inspiration from her immediate surroundings, collecting materials and stories, which she weaves into her sewing pieces, videos, sketches and musical compositions. The protagonists of her narratives, humorously represented by Terkol in her work, are usually women adapting or refusing to adapt to the social and cultural transformations that affect contemporary Turkey. The act of sewing and using recycled fabrics becomes, in itself, an act of resistance which claims back a form of independent production and widens access to contemporary art. She also member of HaZaVuZu artist collective and GuGuOu group keeps working.

Güneş Terkol, born 1981, is a Turkish artist based in Istanbul. She graduated from Mimar Sinan University, Fine Art Faculty, Painting Department. She completed her master’s degree in Yildiz Teknik University Interdisciplinary Art Department.

Selected solo exhibitions include Holographic Recording at Gallery NON in Istanbul (2014) and Dreams On The River at OrganHaus in Chongqing (2010).  Selected group shows include the 2016 “ Live Uncertainty”, 53 nd Bienal de Sao Paulo, 2015 “Passion, Joy, Fury”, MAXXI,Rome 2015 Stay10th Gwangju Biennale in Korea (2014), Better Homes at the Sculpture Center in New York (2013), Signs Taken in Wonder at MAK in Vienna (2012) and Dream and Reality at Istanbul Modern (2011).
Terkol has attended the residency programs at ISCP New York, 2013; OrganHaus, Chongqing, 2011 and Gasworks, London, 2010.