The Sequential, a five independent presentations program by SALT

January 25, 2021

Volkan Aslan, En İyi Dileklerimle, 2019. Still. Courtesy of the artist.

An outcome of an open dialogue between SALT and artists initiated in 2019, The Sequential features five independent presentations by Barış Doğrusöz, Deniz Gül, Volkan Aslan, Aykan Safoğlu, and the duo Fatma Belkıs & Onur Gökmen. The six mid-career artists included in the year-long program are united by “generational ties,” a shared experience of growing up in the 1980s and the 1990s. The fresh visual and conceptual vocabulary emerging in their practice is rooted in the recollections and common sensibilities from the last 25 years.

The works in The Sequential look into the notion of “symbolic power” through the exploration of historiography, language, public sphere, symbolic capital, and modernization, respectively. The program aims to provide a wider space for expression for each artist, rather than adopting the traditional setting of a collective exhibition and comparison space. In 2021, which marks the tenth year of SALT, it also opens up an opportunity for closer creative exchange with artists with whom the institution has previously engaged in only limited collaborations.

The extraordinary circumstances, which are now at the forefront of the world’s attention, had not yet occurred during the early stages of the program, but the following period paved the way for a number of long overdue questions to be articulated on how to develop sustainable and relevant forms of “display.” The critical importance of deliberations between artists and cultural establishments have been highlighted in the extended conversations. In this context, The Sequential serves as an exemplary model not only for taking on an approach based on collaborative effort, but also for the role of institutional support in the production of new creative works during times of crisis.

Programmed by Amira Akbıyıkoğlu and Farah Aksoy from SALT, The Sequential will commence with the first spatial presentation of Barış Doğrusöz’s Locus of Power, which will be on view between January 19 and March 28 at SALT Galata. The video trilogy examines the culture as well as the economic and political history of the ancient city Dura-Europos located in Deir ez-Zor, an area of interest and research for the artist since 2017. Based on the reconstruction of the site, the multimedia installation looks at the aesthetics of ruins, representation and rereading of colonial discourse on the basis of museology and archeology.

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