artist / participant

press release

Rampa hosts Vahap Avşar's first solo exhibition in İstanbul between December 25th, 2010 and February 5th, 2011.

Vahap Avşar's politically critical, dissident artistic persona is self-evident in every work. The artist employs a variety of media and techniques, including photography, performance, painting and installation.

Avşar has thus been recognized by and admired for his 'layered' readings of Turkish society and Turkey, influencing agendas and achieving a 'cult' status.

The exhibition in Rampa can be considered as the ‘first exhibition’ to gather the milestone works of the artist’s quarter of a century career under one roof; such as Supreme (2008), Ali x Christ (1993), Ataturk/Alphabet (1991), Hotel Europa (1992), Swearing Ceremony (2010), Freedom and Adventure (1992), and Five Thousand Turkish Liras (1986).

The content of Vahap Avşar's work refers to events and people recognizable to most viewers. The artist deftly visualizes numerous elements, including mass media, consumerist society, liberal-capitalist production cycles legitimizing every discourse and image by eradicating contemporary reality, people and institutions representing local and global authority as well as the hatred caused by social injustice. Avşar's works, transformed into mirrors reflecting our society, that have proved the exactness of their discourse over time, will meet viewers at Rampa.

Avşar's work is nourished by a distant irony, leaving the viewer with the image's impartial silence.

Vahap Avşar does not belittle the popularized cultural images that he frequently uses in his work. Rather, he is a first-hand and direct viewer of these images, reflecting for the viewer to re-understand and interpret.

Furthermore, Avşar utilizes a wide array of 'ready resources': militarism and the consequent local or transnational rituals, architectural and social identity crises in third world countries. Avşar subverts the viewers' prejudices through his use of such resources, enabling the viewer to re-process.

Avşar is considered to be a 'radical' representative of his oeuvre and a student of Cengiz Çekil, whose work constituted Rampa's inaugural show. Avşar's last solo exhibition in Turkey was sixteen years ago, in İzmir.

Avşar's works have been exhibited at various international locales in New York, Amsterdam, Toronto, Paris as well as the Fifth Havana Biennial. Avşar has had three solo exhibitions abroad, yet only two in Turkey, one in İzmir and one in Ankara. Avşar was a part of When the Ideas Become Crime at the DEPO in Tophane (İstanbul) in 2010. Three works by the artist can still be seen at İstanbul Arter's Second Exhibition.

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Vahap Avsar