Press Release - Ütopik Bürokratik
05/02/2021 - 26/03/2021
Zilberman Istanbul continues the 2021 season with Memed Erdener’s (also known as “Extramücadele”) new solo exhibition “Utopian Bureaucratic.” As one of the most dissident voices in current art in Turkey, Memed Erdener has been producing paintings, sculpture, calligraphy, video and installation with an interdisciplinary approach for 20 years. The exhibition is free of charge and can be visited between February 5 and March 24 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:00 till 19:00. Sixteen new works shall be displayed as part of the exhibition.
Memed Erdener visualizes “Ideas for a Future Country” in his exhibition, displayed on the third floor of the historical Misir Building on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. As we have seen in his previous works, each art piece is in contact with each other conceptually and aesthetically and offers new “reading and writing” forms and suggestions in terms of social, linguistic and imaginary structures.
One of the members of “Hafriyat” art collective which has left its mark on Turkey’s contemporary art, as well as having contributed to D’e’li humor and literary magazine, Memed presents art lovers signs of a future country’s institutions in his “Utopian Bureaucratic.”
Memed has also designed a limited edition poster for “Utopian Bureaucratic.” The artist will open a “Utopian Bureaucratic” message board for interacting with the visitors in the gallery space, in order to promote the sources of meaning and action promised by these works.
The exhibition book includes a text co-written by poet Cihat Duman and Memed Erdener, as well as an evaluation of Memed’s works by academic Marta Smolińska from Fine Arts University at the Polish city of Poznan. Texts by Gülcan Evrenos and art critic Evrim Altuğ, Gallery Director at Zilberman Istanbul, will also be presented to the readers.
Utopian Bureaucratic acts in solidarity with Memed’s earlier works such as Turkey of the Republic (2010), 1915-Dedicated to all Armenians living in Turkey (2012), Slavery Museum (2015), 233 Trillion $, the Total Debt of the World, Is a Sacred Number (2016), or Calligraphies of Disobedience (2015) in terms of plastic style and textual criticism.
In this respect, the exhibition includes signs such as the “Committee for Deterring the Individual from Making up a Mass,” “Ministry for Future Tense in the Past,” “LGBT Rights Council” and “Chamber of Submitting Existential Rights to Things.”
The event invites the audience to “look, see, read and interpret,” proposing a constructive —as much as destructive— questioning, reminding them of all kinds of hierarchical belongings between literature, conceptual art and meronymy.
Memed Erdener expresses his point of departure for Utopian Bureaucratic as follows:
Would be this, would be that. It would happen but it didn’t. What was the past promising us, and what did the future hold for us? How was I to know all these? One day, this would be the question meddling with my mind.
Then I would work for Leibniz Investigation Company in order to investigate the past. Anything with a spider web on it, anything that I was going to come across would be a pearl for me during the investigation. But I was going to find it in an unexpected place, in the Turkish tenses room: Future in the past.
Thanks to future in the past, I was going to do long and painstaking observations on memories which await to be experienced. Thus, I would be able to learn about the past’s potential, yet incomplete, which Ricœur talks about. I would use this not-yet-experienced knowledge to change the life that is imposed on us. If my calculations turn out to be accurate, free will would burst out of everywhere. And finally institutions of a utopian bureaucracy that wouldn’t work for evil was to be established. Oh, how beautiful this would be! Would be this, would be that.
- Memed Erdener