La Biennale di Venezia

La Biennale di Venezia
50th International Art Exhibition

15th June-2nd November 2003

The Pavilion of Türkiye

Opening: 13th June, 2003, Friday 16.30


Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Ergin Çavusoglu
Gül Ilgaz
Neriman Polat
Nazif Topçuoglu

Beral Madra

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism

The sponsor of the Pavilion of Türkiye is TOFAS AS.

Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (UCCET), Profilo Telra Elektronik San. ve Tic. A.S., Aksoy Grafik Dizgi Matbaacilik A.S., Turco-Italian Friendship Association in Milano, Cognis Kimya Türkiye and Organik Holding A.S., Alitalia and Kodak are the contributing sponsors.

At the 50th Biennale di Venezia, Türkiye presents five artists (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ergin Çavusoglu, Gül Ilgaz, Neriman Polat, Nazif Topçuoglu) of the current mercurial art scene of Istanbul in an exhibition entitled "In Limbo", curated by Beral Madra.

The title "In Limbo" is a reference to the producer of the dreams, the artist and to the anonymous, yet omnipotent viewer, as described in the concept of F. Bonami. It also points to the art appreciation in general, at the moment of encounter with the artwork or within the different layers/ hierarchies of the art system. In the current global political and cultural scene, dreams of the viewer and of the artists are intersecting in a circuit of visual and conceptual crisis, not only owing to "globalisation", but also to ongoing conflicts and their transmission through the electronic media. Yet, in paradox, the conflict is not breeding itself in the field of art but on the everyday life of the viewer and the artist.

The concept, "limbo", which means a region on the border of hell, a place of souls which do not go to heaven or hell, a state of neglects, oblivion and complication clearly defines the currently experienced "warscape". Within this "warscape" and the supremacy of the corporate economy and global politics, the everyday life of the artist and the viewer makes all the difference in art. The artist, aware of the eminence of it, approaches these twenty-four hours in detail, itemises and particularises the facts with his/her inevitable sophistication and self-contempt. Whoever gives him the right to intervene into the minute details of the common life, and the authority to cry out his message to the world from a headland, also consumes it with the same empathy or apathy.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films guide the viewer throughout the everyday life and psychology of the small town individual, but disclose the social conflicts of a population entrapped in phases of transition between past and present. Cocoon is an excerpt or citation, related to his concept of his past and recent films and gives a perspective into the land as the background of the global city, as the source of psychology of the current city-individual. Ergin Çavusoglu's current artwork consists of photography and video. Through the images, personal and cultural identities are negotiated and located in urban everyday life. The excessive use of the voyeuristic character of the camera highlights the ambiguous behaviour of individuals in their street existence. Gül Ilgaz’s photography work is largely authobiographical, yet it also offers the viewer a key to open a discussion on common everyday realities and the ambiguity of representation. She juxtaposes illusion and reality, subjective and objective, individual and social to give the viewer an opportunity to exercise his/her perceptive skills. Neriman Polat's vocabulary with photography and video is lucid, calm and substantive. Itemisation, classification and arrangement of the facts and events she is observing and inquiring is ironic and amusing. In her present digital photography she displays a "warscape" within an orientalistic landscape, both constructed with the elements of the natural and urban environments. Time, memory and loss is the basic concept of Nazif Topçuoglu's work. He reconstructs dubious and tainted images of an idealised past with the intention to defeat the transience of people and things in general. Currently, he produced images of young girls - in ambiguous retro positions and appearance - dealing with books, with strategic details implicating the power of knowledge and information. /

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