Two Veins Intersect

Source: Tuğba Esen, “İki Damar Kesişti,” (“Two Veins Intersect,”) Agos, 27 June 2014, http://www.agos.com.tr/haber.php?seo=iki-damar-kesisti&haberid=7546

The exhibition “who would have thought” is taking place in two different settings called Hayaka Artı and Maumau as part of the 22nd Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week. We have asked the same question to Fatih Özgüven, who is on the advisory panel of the exhibition, so that he can evaluate, in a way, the journey of LGBTI individuals and of queer art from past to present.

Huseyin Rustemoglu, 'Puzzle'

Huseyin Rustemoglu, ‘Puzzle’

The “Who would have thought” exhibition is taking place in two different locations called Hayaka Artı and Maumau as part of the 22nd Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week. The exhibition organized by the Pride Week Exhibition Commission was designed as a retrospection that includes past and present examples of queer art. After the open call made in March, works including video, photography and paintings were selected by the advisory panel consisting of Canan and Erinç Seymen, Fatih Özgüven and the Tobacco Warehouse Team.

We asked Fatih Özgüven, who is on the advisory panel of the exhibition, the same question – “Who would have thought” so that he can evaluate, in a way, the journey of LGBTI individuals and queer art from past to present.

“This exhibition presents examples of intersections where the paths of those who define themselves as LGBTI and of modern art collide.” Fatih Özgüven goes on to tell the story of these intersections: “These two veins have made a mark on Turkey’s recent (cultural) history. About 20 or 30 years ago it was difficult to mention that you worked on ‘modern art’ the same way it was to be an ‘LGBTI’ individual. Or let me put it like this; the same way we could not predict Gülsün Karamustafa or Füsun Onur, who practiced in the 70s and 80s, to stand out as modern artists and have retrospective exhibitions in their names, we could not fathom the crowds large enough to fill pride walks. There were always some marks of homosexuality in fields such as literature, music and theatre but, maybe because these were old and rooted, some codes were developed. Even listening speeches made by relatively outspoken figures like Zeki Müren and Nahid Sırrı Örik, one has to strip them of these codes and redefine them. This is not the case in modern art. It is a young and new field that defies definitions… This is why it is much more compatible with new identity policies. Nothing is more suitable to intersect than these two plots. This exhibition (named as such) is one of the outlets of these intersections.”

You can visit the exhibition until June 29th and observe the reflections of modern art on queer culture while looking for answers to the question “who would have thought?”

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