A Century of Centuries

Salt Ulus

September 15 – November 14, 2015

Didem Pekün, Of dice and men, 2011 ongoing Didem Pekün, <i>Zarlar ve insanlar</i>, 2011’den bu yana
SALT Beyoğlu’ndaki <i>Yüzyılların Yüzyılı</i> sergisi, Mart-Mayıs 2015
Fotoğraf: Barış Doğrusöz
Didem Pekün, Of dice and men, 2011 ongoing
Installation view, A Century of Centuries, SALT Beyoğlu, March-May 2015
Photo: Barış Doğrusöz
A Century of Centuries at SALT Ulus presents a selection of the works that were gathered for the inaugural installation of this exhibition at SALT Beyoğlu. In Ankara the exhibition includes seven artistic positions, that have been formed in response to transformative moments, traumatic experiences and social transitions of the past that continue to resonate in and shape the present. These works were selected for SALT Ulus as they reflect a variety of different state decisions and political attitudes, along with the resulting public sentiments and tensions.

Expressing the multifaceted and repetitious nature of history, Didem Pekün’s essayistic video diary Of dice and men (2011 ongoing) is punctuated by significant and occasionally recurring moments — some that are of purely subjective consequence and others that exist as shared, mediated markers in time. This interdependence between personal and external effects is probed in Chto Delat?’s film-performance, The Excluded. In a Moment of Danger (2014), which responds to the current climate in Russia through a series of chapters that examine intimate and universally acknowledged events in space and time.

Several artists explore subjective readings of history from different perspectives, and in particular the effects of national tensions, border divisions and failed diplomacy. The project eser (2014-2015) by Judith Raum deals artistically with historical research material dating back to the German Empire’s engagement in the Anatolian and Baghdad Railways beginning in 1889. Jumana Manna & Sille Storihle’s film The Goodness Regime (2013) investigates the foundations of the ideology and self-image of modern Norway. Further afield, Shilpa Gupta’s installation Untitled (2013-2014), deals with the enclaves, (pockets of India within Bangladesh, and pockets of Bangladesh within India) expressing the sense of ambiguity, perpetual statelessness, and entrapment experienced by those who live within these complicated conditions.

In the entrance space Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s Docks (2014) look out to the Gençlik Park, yet metaphorically connect land and sea, life and death, loss and perseverance, past and future, known and unknown. Shown in the same space, aspects of Dilek Winchester’s work On Reading and Writing (2007-2015) delve deeper into issues of national identity and ideology in relation to language through the excavation of rare or marginalized texts that have suffered exclusion by both the Turkish literary canon and other nationally applied cultures.

A Century of Centuries was first presented at SALT Beyoğlu in Istanbul (March-May 2015).