Every inclusion is an exclusion
of other possibilities

Salt Beyoğlu

April 21 – May 17, 2015

Still from the video Boumont (2006) by Emre Hüner Emre Hüner’in <i>Boumont</i> (2006) videosundan bir kare 
Sanatçı, Rodeo Gallery ile Ayşe ve Saruhan Doğan Koleksiyonu’nun izniyle
Still from the video Boumont (2006) by Emre Hüner
Courtesy the artist, Rodeo Gallery and Collection of Ayşe and Saruhan Doğan

April 21 - May 17, 2015
SALT Beyoğlu, Forum

Ruby Anemic, Antonio Cosentino, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Elmas Deniz, Annika Eriksson, Ori Gersht, Hatice Güleryüz, Şener Özmen, Yusuf Sevinçli, Ali Taptık, Serkan Taycan, Cengiz Tekin

June 9 - August 2, 2015
SALT Beyoğlu

Every inclusion… brings together aspects of three private, independent collections in order to open a dialogue and critique around the act of collecting and to publicly share the works they have come to hold.

We live in a country where there are no public collections of contemporary visual practice overseen by the city or the state. We also lack publicly funded collecting institutions. The material memory of contemporary art in Turkey resides in various degrees of privacy. Less than a handful of privately run institutions both bear the burden and delineate the field of the contemporary. Save for a few, personal collections are either unwieldy, short of clear vision, or remain out of sight in storage or on the walls of private residences. A number of new initiatives in recent years, such as SAHA Association, collectorspace and SPOT, have attempted to restore public purpose and credibility from the private side, in order to offset the intense marketization undergone in the field. Yet, it continues to be the case that the private often remains remarkably so, and the public is a field where notions of accessibility and shared privilege are still under construction. In such an environment, to collect responsibly and with engagement, and the role collections can play in making art more accessible, are issues that urgently need to be considered.

In dialogue with Haro Cümbüşyan, Saruhan Doğan and Agah Uğur and the collections they have built with their partners, this exhibition attempts to mediate individual explorations into artistic practice over the last ten years. Composed of local and international artworks, the exhibition reveals a selection of some of the most powerful and confronting choices made by the collectors. Included are works that are socially critical, political and sometimes disturbing. The collections also feature works in media that are hard to display, such as video, audio, book installations, and film and slide projections. All in all, there are numerous pieces that many would find it hard to imagine a collector of art ever considering to buy.

The collectors have shared and discussed their approaches to collecting, in particular with regard to video art, among themselves for a number of years. While each collection shows a singular characteristic, together, to a certain extent, they shed light on the changes in contemporary art in Turkey over the last decade. At the same time, following the rapid growth and engagement of contemporary art with international platforms since the early 2000s, these collections expand beyond local boundaries and connect with artists coming from a multitude of geographical contexts.

To imagine private collecting as a highly idiosyncratic activity, untethered from the accepted norm of what peers acquire, may be quite optimistic today. In the absence of gold standards, and erudite research-driven art history, shared conventions are steered by the opinions considered in vogue. That is not to say that this exhibition acts as an endorsement of these collections or even of every selection in the show, but it does affirm that each collection is driven by forms of commitment, curiosity and characteristic that are rare. By extension, the project does not claim to support any exclusivity to these collections, but rather underscores that they sit among only a few in the country that are unique in terms of specificity.

The program takes place in two stages. It opens in the Forum area at SALT Beyoğlu on April 21. This is followed by a multifaceted exhibition opening across three floors of SALT Beyoğlu on June 9. The collectors’ diverse range of acquisitions, in predominantly audio-visual media, with certain weightings or preferences directing interest, has resulted in a layered exhibition structure conceived through a series of different compositions. These include solo presentations, both a populous and a more focused group exhibition, as well as screenings in the Walk-in Cinema at SALT Beyoğlu.

The works in the exhibition have been selected from the private collections of Bilge and Haro Cümbüşyan, Ayşe and Saruhan Doğan, and Tüten and Agah Uğur.