Angela Bulloch
Tony Oursler
Tony Oursler
Stephan Reusse
Peter Kogler
Elisabeth Wallner

The Rhythm of Istanbul

Sound and rhythm are basic elements in music. In 2010, the Akbank Art Center celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Akbank Jazz Festival, one the most renowned jazz festivals in the world.

On this occasion, six international contemporary artists were invited to participate in a project with a display of their works of light, sound, rhythm, and movement. I have chosen a variety of artworks thematically related to “The Rhythm of Istanbul” exhibition. Each artist formulated his/her contribution in a different way; some abstractly, others very figuratively.

Angela Bulloch, an artist who makes use of bio-feedback systems in many of her works, presented Progression of 8 Perverted Pixels. Tony Oursler, whose ingenious works deal with the relationship between the individual and mass media systems with humour and irony, showed one speaking-US Dollar banknote and burning cigarettes; both are video projections. Julian Opie exhibited his latest computer film on an LCD screen, Rod and Verity Walking. Stephan Reusse participated with a laser-scanning artwork, called Dominique, The Dancer. The architectural space provided on the first floor Peter Kogler’s computer generated designs, and last but not least the video Metamorphosis produced by Elisabeth Wallner explored metamorphic changes and relationships between subjects and objects.

My intention was to invite international artists to elaborate their views in relation to this  vibrant city with all its varieties of energies. The artworks vary but have commonality: light, sound, rhythm and movement.

Over the last years I have curated several exhibitions in the public space in Prague. My interest has always focused on extraordinary shows in celebration of a special period of time or occasion of up-coming cities. The contemporary art scenes in such cities are more dynamic than in established ones. It is always a challenge to be part of these dynamic processes.

Consequently, my focus turned to Istanbul, which is very fascinating with its history, culture, beauty, cultural heritage, friendliness and hospitality, dynamic and unique atmosphere. Istanbul is the biggest metropolis in Europe with many cuts at very different levels and the most vibrant and dynamic contemporary art city in Europe. If the local art community is able to cluster and direct all these positive energy flows in the various fields, Istanbul may become one of the top contemporary art destinations in Europe within the next years!

Julian Opie: