Noordkaap in Istanbul

Saturday 17 September 2011 t/m Sunday 2 October 2011

The second city attented for the Noordkaap EU Tour  is Istanbul and can be seen in the public space of Beyoglu area from September 16th until October 1st, 2011.

Participating artists are: Hans van den Ban (NL), Johannes Brechter (DE), Nada van Dalen (NL), Susi Gelb (DE), Daan den Houter (NL), Tassilo Letzel (DE), Ferhat Özgür (TR), Extrapool: Ivette Mrova Zub (NL/PL) and Piotr Kurek (PL).

Adress Noordkaap Complex: Mimar Sinar University of Fine Arts at Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi No.2, Tram: Tophane, near the Istanbul Modern.   


Seven of the participating artists are working on the spot for about two weeks, reacting on specific elements of the city and its society. Their perfomances, installations and artistic interventions in public space will be documentated through film, photo, inteview. These video’s, combined with works of artists from Istanbul, will be shown to the public during two weekends (16/ 17 september and 23/ 24 september). On Saturday evening the 16th of September the project started with two live Audiotoops presented by artist initiative Extrapool from Nijmegen. Curators Lieke Wouters and Maria Happen invited the soundartists Piotr Kurek and Mrova Mrova Zub to join the tour in Istanbul. Kurek's radio play consisted of a graphic composition focusing on the elections of Polish political parties. Mrova composed an audio play in which she investigates rules and constraints in relation to the migrants who try to flee to Europe, through 'schizogeographic' sounds; soundrecordings of the border region, monitoring radios from Istanbul policestations, and personal stories of both immigrants and activists.

Works shown during the screenings: like Johannes Brechter, who will do a puppet theatre about the famous Turkish characters Karagöz and Hacivat, which are the leading characters of the traditional Turkish shadowplay, that was popular during the Ottoman period. Karagöz en Hacivat are modelled after two workers, who entertained their colleagues during the building of the Mosq in Bursa during the reign of Orhan I (1329-1359). Because of the delay their acts caused, they were executed. After their execution, they became working class heroes. Brechter performed his play in the streets of Istanbul. Tassilo Letzel organized a second city tour: "Istanbul is changing fast. Giving a closer look, you can find various examples in what direction the officials want to develop the city. One of the biggest issues in this recent development was the forced eviction of Sulukule area, an ancient Roma Settlement, existing even prior to Istanbul and developing this area in some kind of Gated Community by speculators. The governement's excuse was to renew the old buildings and to  offer 'affordable houses' in another area of Istanbul to the former residents. The area offered is in Tasoluk, some 40 kms north in the periphery of Istanbul. We will start the fieldtrip at the Construction site of former Sulukule,  where we will get a brief introduction by local artists, about the past events. By doing the fieldtrip to Tasoluk with public transport, we will experience the distance and how the plan to reestablish the people from Sulukule. In this remote area, in the end, there was nothing else but a planned whipeout to Sulukule Community. In Tasoluk we will meet some of the locals, who are mainly middle class people working close by or being senior citizens spending their retirement there, out of the hectic from the inner city."

Daan den Houter experimented with a new sequel of his coin project, which resulted in the short movie "Istanbul Walk". By walking through the streets with a special handmade trousers, he left a trace of hunderds of shiny euro coins. Other works shown in Istanbul were the collection of young fashion designer and artist Nada van Dalen, the installation "Europa" by Amsterdam based artist Hans van den Ban and postcards spread in the city by artist Susi Gelb of her work Araç Kapani (Car Trap).

During the screenings two videoworks were presented by Turkish artist Ferhat Özgür: 'I can Sing" (2008) shows an Islamic woman who is cleary playbacking the moving song "Halleluja" of Leonard Cohen, performed by Jeff Buckley. The woman stands in front of a new settlement in Ankara, where the urban transfomation is tangible. Another work by Özgür "Matamorphosis Chat" (2010) cites the narrative frame of populair Turkish soap operas. A woman, who has never worn a headscarf, meets a a neighbour for tea. The two woman decide to switch roles and begin to exchange their clothes to become one another.

Independant newspaper

In addition to our exhibition program, each hosting city will have its own accompanying newspaper, with columns, previews, feature stories, design sketches, and so on. The Istanbul Edition will be released in Istanbul later this month.

Frontpage NK Times II, design inpsired on the Hürriyet.

Leading article by Pelin Tan.

A sneak preview on the content: Dutch writer Bas Heijne wrote a column about Dutch nationalism and populist politicians like Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders. Bart Nijstad, a cartoon artist from Groningen (Holland), contributed a part of his comic "Muggen", which deals with populism. Curator/ writer Pelin Tan from Istanbul wrote an essay about urban planning in Istanbuls Tophane district, a transitional area between the cultural entertainment center of Beyoglu and various residential neighborhoods. Dutch artist Jonas Staal spoke about ideology in critical art practice , artistduo Wouter Osterholt & Elke Uitentuis tell us something about the project they recently did in Turkey; "Monument to Humanity – Helping Hands. A proposal for a new Monument to Humanity in Kars, Turkey". A substantial part of this edition is about the recent works of Burak Delier. We showcase how one of his artprojects has been confiscated by unexpected political movements.

Our stay in Istanbul was made possible with the kind help of the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts at Meclis-I Mebusan Cad. 24 in istanbul.

All photo's on this page: Roel Weenink

Kunstenaars: Daan den Houter, Ivette ‘Mrova’ Zub, Extrapool: Piotr Kurek, Ferhat Özgür, Hans van den Ban, Jan Kryszons, Johannes Brechter, Nada van Dalen, Remotewords, Susi Gelb en Tassilo Letzel.


Screening 'I can Sing', Ferhat Ozgur. Noordkaap Complex, Istanbul, september 2011

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