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Galeri Manâ: A New Contemporary Art Space in Istanbul Opens with Idea-Driven Show
Installation view of Galeri Manâ's inaugural exhibition.
ISTANBUL.- The inaugural exhibition, Nereden Nereye, a Turkish phrase that translates “From Where to Where,” includes sixteen works by eleven artists, and explores the function of images and the nature of representation. Nereden Nereye features paintings, drawings, photographs and video works by Murat Akagundüz, John Baldessari, Lewis Baltz, Mel Bochner, Diana Al-Hadid, Tamar Halpern, Sol LeWitt, Albert Oehlen, Robin Rhode, Charles Sandison and Nasan Tur. The exhibition runs through July 23, 2011.

Curated by Suzanne Egeran, NEREDEN NEREYE features paintings, drawings, photographs and video works by Murat Akagunduz, John Baldessari, Lewis Baltz, Mel Bochner, Diana Al-Hadid, Tamar Halpern, Sol LeWitt, Albert Oehlen, Robin Rhode, Charles Sandison and Nasan Tur. Significantly, many of these internationally recognized artists are showing their work in Istanbul for the first time and will be new discoveries for the Turkish public.

The works on view in the exhibition are idea-driven. Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #454: within a 200cm circle, each person may make one continuous not straight abstract line (1985), for example, offers a set of instructions (contained in the subtitle), to be interpreted and executed by others. The resulting forms, however visually appealing, are secondary to the content; in other words, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. By establishing this process in the 1960s, LeWitt rejected the notion that artists create precious, unique works of art and helped pave the way for idea-based artwork.

Many of the artworks in NEREDEN NEREYE have a performative aspect. For example, Robin Rhode’s photo grids and animations feature the artist’s doppelganger who engages with abstract forms and two-dimensional representations of everyday objects. Rhode explores mark-making and the medium of drawing while questioning how we relate to signs, whether personal marks or highly charged political symbols.

How we perceive images and their underlying meaning is explored by many artists in the show. John Baldessari, for example, incorporates found images such as film stills, which he alters to tease out multiple meanings contained in the image. In doing so, he exposes how images work in our culture and the assumptions that we make on a daily basis.

Galeri Manâ, located in the Tophane district of Istanbul, is a converted wheat mill that dates to the 19th century and features 400 square meters of exhibition space. The gallery takes its name from the Turkish word mana (concept or meaning in Turkish) and was founded by Mehves Ariburnu and Suzanne Egeran in 2011.





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