Artist parodies Istanbul art scene in brek shop neon sign

Turkish artist Civan andOzkanoilu recently shared an observation about the habits of the contemporary art scene in Istanbul and his statement now adorns the wall of the busy andcaidai BandOrek (pastry) shop in Beyoilu.
The tongue-in-cheek statement comes in the form of a neon installation that reads and”Deleuze aiaii Deleuze yukari.and” Roughly translated, this means, and”Deleuze this Deleuze that.and”
The and”Deleuzeand” referred to in the installation is of course the 20th-century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who wrote extensively on literature, film, art and philosophy.
Based in Istanbul and New York, andOzkanoilu is mainly known for his photography series. The artist often travels back and forth between these cities, which gives him a fine way to compare the art circles in both cities.
One of the things andOzkanoilu encounters a lot in exhibition catalogues in Turkey is a and”burning desire to refer to a significant philosopher or art critic from the West,and” he said in a recent interview with Todayand’s Zaman.
and”I go to a lot of art events and try to see all the exhibitions when I com and there is an interesting habit that I see a lot. Most of the time, a famous name would be thrown into the text [in the exhibitionand’s catalogue] and the whole show would be based on an idea of this person, then the description of the artwork follows,and” andOzkanoilu said.
and”Of course, Iand’m not against making references [to philosophers], it would be simplistic to say that, but the way it is don is quite formulaic,and” he added.
Since one of the top names chosen in such situations is Deleuze, andOzkanoilu decided to write this name in neon in his installation. But convincing the shopand’s owner to replace the neon sign of his highly popular shop on Siraselviler Street with the Deleuze sign was difficult. and”The original sign has been here for the past 10 years and it took some time to convince the owner to take it down for a while,and” andOzkanoilu says.
The artistand’s choice to use a neon light is symbolic since it is a lot of contemporary artistsand’ favorite material. As to the color of the installation, andOzkanoilu decided to use pink to make it and”as kitsch as possible.and”
He wrote the phrase in Turkish since the installation denotes a situation happening in Turkey and the fact that the word and”bandOrekand” cannot precisely be translated into English added to the humor of the piece, he says.
The work is meaningful on several levels. First of all, the word and”andcaidaiand” (the Turkish word for contemporary) is a rather odd choice for a bandOrek shop. The shop ownerand’s choice to use such a name and the desire to mention some famous Western philosopherand’s name in the brochure of an art exhibition are somewhat similar, according to andOzkanoilu.
and”Replacing the shopand’s sign with this work was important for me,and” he continues. and”I wanted to exhibit my installation in a public place rather than in an art gallery.
and”Art critics, curators and writers [in Turkey] use the occasion [of publishing an article in an exhibition catalogue] as a means to brag about their 20-something years of reading experience, rather than seeing it as a collaborative process between the gallery, the artist and the writer. Unfortunately, mentioning names is a very common habit here nowadays.and”
The artist says he plans on creating more works of this kind if this craze in Turkeyand’s art world continues, perhaps using an LED light next time with the names Michel Foucault or Jacques Lacan.
andOzkanoiluand’s neon installation will hang in the andcaidai BandOrek shop until June 9.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman