3/11/2007

Ahmet Ögut: Softly But Firmly - galerija miroslav kraljevic

Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic is pleased to announce 'Softly But Firmly', the solo show by one the most intriguing young Turkish artists today: Ahmet Ogut. The exhibition will present Ogut's new works in the media of video, wall drawing and animation.

In his technically simple, but provocative works, Ogut touches upon some of the most burning, globally relevant issues, such as ethnical conflicts, terrorism, everyday media reality, always employing humor as a strategy and never ‘preaching’ or placing the 'right' opinions or answers. It is exactly this combination of humor and ambiguity that creates an uneasiness which triggers the provocative character of Ogut's visually attractive and humorous works that often play with the universal symbols of power as, for example, in his new one-minute animation „Light Armoured“ (2006), which even provoked police intervention when it was first shown in Istanbul, as it was interpreted as supportive of terrorism, if not a straightforward terrorist threat. In this short and simple animation Ogut transforms an image of a Land Rover into an army vehicle, by providing it with combat equipment. The vehicle then becomes 'victim' of an unknown attacker, throwing stones at it. The 'attack', repeating in endless loop produces, however, a humorous and absurdist effect and, by not in any way succeeding at endangering the safety of the vehicle, evokes the hopelessness of any effort of resistance. Transformations of vehicles appear often in Ogut’s other works, where this motif is used to deconstruct naive and normative ways in which power is imposed on the lives of citizens. In the slide projection “Somebody Else’s Car” Ogut disguises an anonymous car (without the owner’s permission) first into the Istanbul taxi car and later into a police car, while in the video “Death Kit Train” we see a typical car slowly moving across the screen from right to left, and after a few seconds it is revealed that the car is being pushed an absurdly large group of people, indicating the absurdity of manual labour and the many of those who remain 'unemployed' in this process.
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Ahmet Ogut (Born 1981 in Diyarbakir, Turkey), lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated at Hacettepe University, Fine Art Faculty, Painting Department, Ankara and received his MA at the Yildiz Teknik University, Art and Design Faculty, Istanbul. He is one of the editors of “muhtelif” publication for contemporary art. Currently he is artist-in-residence at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. His work was widely exhibited, including the 9th Biennial of Istanbul, VILLA MANIN – Center for contemporary art, Udine; European Patent Office, Munich; Luxe Gallery, New York; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Wien; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Museum of contemporary art, Belgrade; Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki; Sparwasser HQ, Berlin and Proje4L Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum. Texts about his work were featured in numerous books and magazines: Mika Hannula: “The Politics of Small Gestures: Chances and Challenges for Contemporary Art”, Vasif Kortun-Erden Kosova: “Szene Turkei Abseits, aber Tor!”, Art in America, Monthy Photo, Tema Celeste, Spike Art Quarterly, Metropolis M, Bidoun etc.

A publication featuring an interview with the artist by Vasif Kortun, texts by Pelin Tan and exhibition curators Jasna Jaksic and Antonia Majaca accompanies the exhibition.
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13/03 - 03/04/2007