Artist of the main project
Artist of the main project

Cengiz Tekin, 1977

Exhibition at the Optical and Mechanical Plant features the artwork

Silence (2018)

Video, no image, sound, 5'09''. Courtesy of the artist

supported by SAHA

Diyarbakır-based artist and one of the founders of Loading Art Space of Turkey, Cengiz Tekin works with an ambition of filling the gap between life and art. His video work Silence (2018) deals with the psychology of militarist gentrification, normalization of violence, and also the politics of isolation. Tekin, mostly known for his lens-based practice of video and photographic works, skilfully draws certain motifs from his own domestic space, framing them within dramatic narratives. In this video, a black-screen with white letters confronts the viewer with the noise of weapons they hear; sound from explosions with cues and subtitles connects our ears with eyes. Familiarity with the sounds of weapons, bombs, and other military devices, and knowledge and experience of their types, models, and numbers, from living with the reality of war, open up critical questions surrounding public security, safe spaces, and the meaning of human life.

Exhibition in the Post building features the artwork

Pastoral Symphony (2021)

Two-channel video installation, 4′40″. Commissioned by Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Courtesy of the artist

Cengiz Tekin’s work constantly alludes to potential crises, and utilizes the forms, languages and strategies of art not only in rebellious ways, but also through expressing actual rebellion with the power of silence and resistance. The video installation entitled Pastoral Symphony (2021) Staatliche Kunsthalle commission for State and Nature show by the Diyarbakır-based Kurdish artist shows the destruction of centuries-old settlement structures by gigantic dam projects. He asks where the boundary lies between the environment human beings create and the collapse of nature in currently distressed areas. This commission was produced in different parts of Mesopotamia, especially ancient towns and districts located along the river and water resources that have been damaged by governmental decisions and regulations. Despite protests and rejection by civil organizations and communal projects, these sites with archeological history and value have been flooded, or abandoned. In April last year the water levels of the dammed Tigris River reached an elevation of 498.2 m, covering the whole town at Hasankeyf. These two-channel videos provoke reflections on how water has historically shaped city structures and street architecture from earlier stages of urban development.

Cengiz Tekin (1977, Diyarbakır)  received a BA degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Çukurova University (1999). In his photography and video work, the artist deals with elements such as tradition, family, faith, which are often rooted in social life. His art particularly points to the issues borne by the government agenda in the geography in which he lives. Yet rather than using a documentary tone, the artist presents an ironic approach where he interrupts the flow of everyday doings and renders them precarious. He often presents uneasy scenes that invite the viewer to look from another angle. Taking his personal life as the starting point, Cengiz Tekin’s work extends to his local geography and then to the wider social sphere. He draws attention to the refugee crisis which now the whole World had become a witness to. His works have been exhibited in many countries including Italy, Greece, Chile, America, Germany, England, Ireland, Switzerland, Brazil and has been included in several international biennials. The artist is also one of the founders of ‘Loading Art Space’ in Diyarbakır, Turkey. He lives and works in Diyarbakır.

Solo exhibitions: The Wall on The Sky, Atelier Marvy (Izmir, 2018), Just Before Paradise, Pilot Gallery (Istanbul, 2016), Inner Issues, Pilot Gallery (Istanbul, 2013), and Original Message with Şener Özmen, Outlet Gallery (Istanbul, 2009). His work has been exhibited at the 2nd Mediterranean Biennale (Israel, 2013), 7th Santiago Video and New Media Biennial (Chile, 2005), Free Kick, Hospitality Zone, 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005), and Love It or Leave It, 5th Cetinje Biennial (Montenegro, 2004).

Group exhibitions: Artists' Film International, Istanbul Modern (Istanbul, 2017); When Home Won’t Let You Stay, Dieangewandte (Viyana, 2016); Radical Atoms, Ars Electronica (Linz, 2016); Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury MAXXI (Rome, 2015); Every inclusion is an exclusion of other possibilities, SALT Beyoğlu (Istanbul, 2015); Political Art and Resistance in Turkey, nGbK (Berlin, 2015); Signs Taken in Wonder, MAK Museum (Vienna, 2013); Beautiful Game, Ljubljana City Art Gallery, (Slovenia, 2012); East by South West, Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna, 2011); Second Exhibition, ARTER (Istanbul, 2010); Fantasy and Island, FRAC Corse, Corsica (France, 2010); Not Easy to Save the World in 90 Days, TANAS (Berlin, 2009), What about Power Relations, Vzigalica Gallery of City Museum of Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2008).

Cengiz Tekin, 1977