RUMEYSA – Artist Ahmet Iut’s ‘tips and tricks’ in new book

Artist Ahmet Iut’s ‘tips and tricks’ in new bookAhmet Iut, a young contemporary artist from Turkey known for his masterfully humored and subtly political works, is now the subject of a new book.Titled “Ahmet Iut: Tips and Tricks,” the book is a valuable guide that follows the story of the artist from his early works up until the present day.

The book provides all the essential details of Iut’s work, ranging from video art to installations, while also allowing the reader to see the developments in the contemporary art world in Turkey.Born and raised in DiyarbakIr in southeast Turkey, Iut is a graduate of the painting department at Ankara’s Hacettepe University.

Having started taking part in group exhibitions in 2002 aged 21, Iut soon started to become known in Turkey’s contemporary art circles, especially after being featured at the 9th Istanbul Biennial in 2005. In 2007, he moved to Amsterdam and had his first solo show in 2008 at Kunsthalle Basel.

Co-representing Turkey with Banu CennetoIlu at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 brought him more international recognition.Iut touches upon many topics in his art, such as identity, body politics, technological innovations and documenting the present.

“Ahmet Iut is a wizard at examining the details of everyday and singling out its moments imbued with tensions and conflicts transpired during its practice,” says the book’s editor Ceren Erdem “With a witty, yet critical approach, he captures the ways that individuals experience daily life as well as history, and often highlights these cases by developing counter-strategies or suggesting alternative conduct,” she adds.A good example is his “Stones to Throw” (2011), which was made up of 10 stones of various sizes decorated with figures inspired by Looney Tunes characters.

Iut took the stones to his hometown of DiyarbakIr and left them in the streets, where children and young people are often charged with throwing stones at the police during civil protests.Iut’s allusions to daily life and politics in his work can be as simple as replacing swinging doors with the riot shields used by the police, as in his work “The Swinging Doors” (2009), or putting signs on urban areas that read “Warning: This Area Is Under 23-Hour Video and Audio Surveillance,” which was also the title of one of his works.

One of Iut’s projects with groundbreaking results is “The Silent University” (2012-ongoing), an autonomous platform for knowledge exchange by asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. This project was initiated by Iut and has been contributed to by many organizations such as The Delfina Foundation, Tate and the Oxford Migration Studies Society.

Another such project is EyeWriter, which is an open-source eye-tracking device developed to allow disabled or almost completely paralyzed people to communicate using only eye movements. Iut promoted his work “EyeWriterDIYarbakIr” using $1 bills on which he wrote the web link of the project and he spread the notes through money showers at various weddings in DiyarbakIrFeaturing these and various other works by Iut, the book looks at the artist’s wide range of interests, ideas and suggestions that one way or another touch upon human struggles and experiences.

“Ahmet Iut chases after good ideas. In his research, a good idea does not necessarily have to be about (or conceived for) the arts but through its conceptual quality, it challenges how we label things art,” curator and critic Misal Adnan YIldIz writes in his comprehensive article on Iut’s artistic practice in the book.

Indeed, in most of his works, Iut offers a lot more than the mere meaning of the artwork itself, but rather invites the audience to infer from their own experience ways to make use of the artist’s suggestions, tips and tricks. “Rather than receiving explanations of the pieces, the audience needs to experience them through their own perception of reality and imagination,” YIldIz says.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman