Istanbul Next Wave and Other Turkish Art Exhibits: From Governance of Culture to Governance through Culture

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This article appears in TRANSIT, Volume 7, Issue 1, as part of the Special Topic Cosmopolitical and Transnational Interventions in German Studies. Guest editors for this Special Topic are B. Venkat Mani and Elke Segelcke. The copyright is retained by the author(s). Please visit our website,
  eScholarship provides open access, scholarly publishingservices to the University of California and delivers a dynamicresearch platform to scholars worldwide. Peer ReviewedTitle: Istanbul Next Wave and Other Turkish Art Exhibits: From Governance of Culture to Governancethrough Culture Journal Issue: TRANSIT, 7(1) Author: Wolbert, Barbara, University of Minnesota Publication Date: 2011 Publication Info: TRANSIT, Department of German, UCB, UC Berkeley Permalink: Acknowledgements: I am grateful to all the colleagues who have commented on aspects of my presentation, as well asto Angelika Fenner, the commentator of the panel session “Culture and RePresentation – Turkeyand Germany,” which was part of a series of panels initiated and organized by Elke Segelcke andB. Venkat Mani at the 2010 Conference of the German Studies Association in Oakland. I thankthe organizers for their initiative and for their great work as guest-editors, as well as journal editor Kurt Beals. For his revisions of my manuscript I thank Richard Gardner. Keywords: Exhibitions, Art, Turkey, Germany, Berlin, Istanbul, cultural politics, guestworker system,multiculturalism, Europeanization Abstract: Exhibited from November 12, 2009, through January 17, 2010, three art shows under the commontitle Istanbul Next Wave introduced a newly narrated Turkish history of modern art to Germanaudiences. This Turkish intervention, which led to unprecedented curatorial co-operations byestablished German and Turkishinstitutions of contemporary art, is juxtaposed with other Istanbulexhibits from the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, such as Urbane Realitäten –Focus Istanbul, berlin . istanbul . vice . versa , and Call me ISTANBUL ist mein Name , in order toexamine the controversies, negotiations, and collaborations that defined recent presentations of Turkish artists’work in Germany. In a diachronic approach focusing on questions of interventions,this article thus inquires into this particular strand of the history of exhibiting contemporary art inGermany, going back to the early displays of works by Turkish artists in the 1970s and 1980s.  eScholarship provides open access, scholarly publishingservices to the University of California and delivers a dynamicresearch platform to scholars worldwide. Layer by layer, it examines the intricate relations between the presentation of Turkish art and therepresentation of Turks in Germany, which have done more than merely reflecting, shaping, andmolding audiences’ receptions, reviews in the media, and public debates at large. The paper aimsat evaluating Turkish art interventions in Germany in relation to processes of Europeanization.   Istanbul Next Wave 1 was the collective title of three related exhibitions on display inBerlin from November 2009 through January 2010. These shows introduced contemporary artfrom Turkey, as well as a newly narrated Turkish history of modern art, to German audiences.One sampled 80 works from the Istanbul Modern collection; another presented works by 17female artists; and a third featured six explicitly political positions. 2 The following illustrations – each set of three representing one of the exhibits in the given sequence - have been used chosenfrom 16 press photographs representing these three exhibition events. 3 These three art exhibitions took place on the occasion of the 20 th anniversary of theBerlin-Istanbul Partnership, and they were connected with  Istanbul 2010 , Istanbul’s EuropeanCapital of Culture program. They were the result of a collaboration of prominent and well-established Berlin and Istanbul art institutions, which had been founded or unified and re-structured in the 1990s. The three  Istanbul Next Wave exhibits were on display in the twoexhibition halls of the Akademie der Künste – on Hanseatenweg and Pariser Platz – and in therenowned Martin-Gropius-Bau.  1 The full title of the exhibit was  Istanbul Next Wave: Simultaneity – Parallels – Opposites. Modern Contemporary Art from Istanbul. 2 See; The image on this website is a detail of Gül Ilgaz. TheStruggle , 2008. Inkjet pigment print 50 x 210 cm. 3 Here the proportions of the illustrations on the 2-page tableau of press photo are kept; the sizes of theseillustrations do not relate to the proportions of the sizes of the actual art works. Wolbert: Istanbul Next Wave and Other Turkish Art Exhibits: From Governance of Culture to ...1  4   5   67   8   910   11   12   4 Hale Asaf:  Natürmort / Stilleben (1928-1930), Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 cm. Courtesy Dr. Nejat F. EczanebasiFoundation Collection, Copyright Istanbul Modern. 5 Bedri Rahmi Eyüboglu,  Han Kahvesi / Kaffeehaus (1973), Acrylic on canvas, 125 x 125 cm, Courtesy Dr. Nejat F.Eczanebasi Foundation Collection, Copyright Istanbul Modern. 6 Semiha Berksoy, “Zümrüdüanka” Otopotre / “Phönix,” Selbstportrait  (1997), Oil on plywood, 130 x 80 cm,Courtesy Dr. Nejat F. Eczanebasi Foundation Collection, Copyright Istanbul Modern. 7 Ipek Duben, Serife 9-10-11, Triptych (1981), Oil on Canvas, each 130 x 80 cm, Copyright Ipek Duben. 8 Gülay Semercioglu, Töre / Ritual (2006) . Silver wire weaving, 70 x 100 cm. Copyright Gülay Semercioglu. 9 Nazli Eda Noyan, From  Ince Ince Isledim / Finely Embroidered  (2008), Digital print on hard foam board, 100 x 44cm. Copyright Nazli Eda Noyan. 10 Altan Gürman: Montaj 4 / Montage 4 (1967), Cellulose painting and barbed wire on wood, 123 x 140 x 9 cm,Courtesy Bilge Gürman Collection. Foto Hadiye Cangökce. 11 Sükran Moral: Kiyamet / Apokalypse (2004) Installation. Copyright Sükran Moral. 12 Irfan Önürmen,  New Baghdad Museum (2007), Installation. Copyright Irfan Önürmen. TRANSIT  , 7(1), Article 10 (2011)2
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