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  [DILIN KEMIGI / THE BONE OF THE TONGUE. Turkish Contemporary Art]

Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz

CONCEPT: Fatih Aydogdu
An art practice which operates by means of individual criteria and frame conditions, does not necessarily establish lasting (museal) merits, but definitely creates a proper aesthetics of communication. Categories of analysis, tactical media, activist interventions react upon and/or influence the current social conditions. Via its pragmatics, swift or uncomplicated media produces a modality which embraces the implementation of different procedures – aesthetical, activist or partly theoretical ones. The connotative level of the visual, from the point of view of its contextual reference and positioning in different discursive meaning and association realms, denotes the point where already coded signs meet the depth of the semantic code of a culture and adopt additional, more active dimensions. Here, there exists no pure objective (denotative) – and least of all natural – representation. Each visual sign (in a specific language) connotates a characteristic, a value or a conclusion, which is present depending on its connotating position as implication or implicated meaning.
The fields of preferred concepts hold social structures in the form of meanings, practices and opinions: the popular knowledge of social structures, of how all practical concerns function within this culture, of the ranking of power and interest and of the structures of legitimating, limitations and determinations. Thus, the chosen signs have to be related by means of codes to the order of the social life, to the economic, political power and the ideology, in orderto make them readable. The term “reading” does not merely point at the capability to identify and decode a special number of signs, but it also addresses a subjective ability to relate these to other signs in a creative approach: a skill that is a precondition for conscious acting within an environment.

The exhibition DILIN KEMIGI (“The Bone of the Tongue”), a cooperation project with DIAGONALE in the frame of the focus “Blickwechsel: In naher Ferne” (“Looking Elsewhere: in the Near Distance”), presents interesting contemporary positions of Turkish artists. Topicalizations of a place (defining a stage or scene) tend to be treated as something homogenous, total or uniform, are read or received as categorical. The consciously deduced introduction to the exhibition concept alludes to a preferable perception of the show which shall call attention to singular artworks and their diversity, irrespective of country-specific stereotypes. Naturally, the participating artists are influenced by their origin and the chosen topics, or ideas are directly linked to their environments and the respective social, economic, political and cultural complexity. This is also what makes them interesting. Still, the geographical source is not central in this exhibition, but a language which offers exemplary statements via its reflexive, artistic discourse.

The Turkish idiom “the tongue has no bone” refers to the freedom of speech (“Dil” means tongue, speech). This connotation serves, at the same time, as title for the exhibition and determinedly points at the diversity of artistic approaches. It is noticeable, that a lot of artworks topicalize current social and political problems such as migration, gender identification, role behaviour and subculture phenomena.

Fatih Aydogdu

Fatih Aydogdu, Songül Boyraz, Ergin Cavusoglu, Esra Ersen, Serhat Köksal, LeMan, Hale Tenger,

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Ergin Cavusoglu, Screening, 2000. Screening.