Starting from exhibition When Attitudes Become Form that took place in Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, Sarkis has became a groundbreaker in the world of conceptual art. His works have been exhibited worldwide in established institutions, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, New York Guggenheim Museum, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Bonn Kunst-und-Austellungshalle, Musée du Louvre, Berlin Bode Museum, to name a few. documenta VI, documenta VII, Kassel (1977, 1982); and the biennials of Sydney, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Moscow, and Istanbul are among the most significant exhibitions he participated in. The 56th edition of the Venice Biennale was special for the artist, having exhibited his work Respiro at the Pavilion of Turkey and Armenity at the Pavilion of Armenia.
This specially designed catalogue was published for the exhibition titled Mirror by Sarkis held at the Dirimart Dolapdere on January 18–February 19, 2017. Combining the works of Sarkis, a conceptual artist and Bülent Erkmen, a pioneer of design in Turkey, this catalogue also features a text by curator Ceren Erdem.
In Mirror, a space for refractions, proliferations, screams, and silence opens as the artist’s timeless works from different periods that mark the passing of time encounter the new works conceived for this exhibition. Placing the theory of memory at the core of his practice, Sarkis is introducing a layered critical view to today’s social and political issues by inviting witnesses from history. The works transform art’s faculty of bringing the traces of the past to the present in conjuring up the future through artistic production. A battle scene from the 15th century and the responding lightning provoke the space as they transmute into neon installations. In this space, golden rainbows, images of which histories are touched by the Kintsugi technique, moments captured and enlightened by stained glasses, spoils of war coated with lipstick convene and proliferate in a mirror. And many photographs witnessing this confrontation integrate with the faces staring at them and reflect our world like a giant mirror.
Co-curator: Ceren Erdem
Editor: Ceren Erdem
Texts: Ceren Erdem, Michel Menu
Translation: Çiçek Öztek, İnci Uysal, Merve Ünsal
Proofreading: Seph Rodney, Selin Özavcı
Photographs: Hadiye Cangökçe
Design: Bülent Erkmen
2017, Istanbul, Dirimart
12+74 pages | Four Color, Illustrated, Hardcover