Show: Tactics of Invisibility


Nevin Aladag, Kutlug Ataman, Cevdet Erek, Ayse Erkmen, Esra Ersen, Inci Eviner, Nilbar Güres, Hafriyat, Ahmet Ögüt, Füsun Onur, Sarkis, Hale Tenger, Nasan Tur, xurban_collective

An exhibition project by TANAS/Berlin, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary/Vienna and ARTER/Istanbul
Curated by Daniela Zyman and Emre Baykal

Duration: 11 September 2010 – 15 January 2011/ admission free
Closed 24 + 31 December 2010 and 01 January 2011

Tactics of Invisibility is a collaborative project developed by TANAS Berlin, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, and ARTER, Istanbul. Conceived as a survey exhibition, the project presents fourteen positions from the contemporary artistic production of Turkey and its diaspora that deal with the concept of invisibility in different ways – as “being-under-the-surface”, as the presence of absence, a tactic of withdrawal, refusal and resistance, of camouflage and disguise, as a symptom of disappearance, as a residue of the spectral and uncanny. Discourse around these artistic tactics emphasizes the potentialities of invisibility while also drawing attention to the implications of (voluntary or symptomatic) exclusion from the regime of the visible.

Tactics of Invisibility focuses on the potential of artistic practice to inhabit the liminal zones between the visible and the invisible and to call them into question through interference and disruption. In the process, it highlights the repressed and silenced, as well as inconspicuous phenomena that can be seen as symptomatic of pathologizing and “Otherness” but also understood as manifestations of marginalization or resistance. To invoke the unseen beneath the surface, or to produce it by means of camouflage and disguise, offers a strategy for intervening in processes of transformation and establishing new or imaginary linkages.

Tactics of Invisibility assembles a variety of artistic positions from three decades, enabling the exhibition also to pursue lines of connection and topical approaches to an aesthetic of invisibility. Works by pioneering figures such as Sarkis, Füsun Onur, and Ayse Erkmen paved the way for the dynamic and sociopolitically engaged Turkish art of the 1990s, in which questions of multiculturalism, identity politics, migration, and minority politics came to the fore. While the works of Inci Eviner, Kutlug Ataman, and Hale Tenger evince ties to the discourse of that period, their current work develops that discourse in very specific ways. Their projects query terms of “reality” by generating conceptual breaks or analytically dismantling and rearranging semantic structures, which links them to the artistic positions of the younger generation, as represented by Cevdet Erek, Esra Ersen, Nilbar Güres, Nasan Tur, Nevin Aladag, Ahmet Ögüt, xurban_collective, and the artists’ initiative Hafriyat.

Exhibition catalogue with contributions by:
Meltem Ahiska, Murat Akagündüz, Gudrun Ankele, Gülsen Bal, Emre Baykal, Aysegül Baykan, Margrit Brehm, Dieter Buchhart, Levent Çalikoglu, Barbara Heinrich, Nataša Ilic, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Nermin Saybasili, Basak Senova, Necmi Sönmez, Pelin Tan, Jalal Toufic, xurban_collective and Daniela Zyman.
219 pages, 15 Euro/ available at TANAS


Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Himmelpfortgasse 13
1010 Vienna
16 April – 15 August 2010

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary was founded in 2002 by Francesca von Habsburg. The foundation is based in Vienna, where it maintains an exhibition space whose temporary exhibitions are open to the public at no charge. Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary has dedicated itself to the task of actively supporting, commissioning and disseminating the production of contemporary works of art. Its programmatic focus lies in recognizing the regional breadth and diversity of artistic forms and intellectual disciplines that challenge and expand modalities of perception and experience.

Istiklal Caddesi No: 211
34433 Beyoglu
from March 2011