In collaboration with SAHA, TAAS made an open call and received 36 applications from Turkey to offer two artists the opportunity to join the TAAS global art community and participate in their online course offerings with SAHA's partnership. The jury panel, namely curator Çelenk Bafra, former TAAS participant artist Vahap Avşar, and author, curator Nato Thompson, invited two emerging artists, namely Ege Okal and Ozan Atalan, to attend Quarter 2, 30 April – 18 June and Quarter 4, 22 October – 17 December, respectively. With the motto "Artists Around the World Teaching Artists Around the World" the curriculum of TAAS offers programs in drawing, painting, sculpture, video, performance, curating, and more, all with an emphasis on getting art out of the gallery and into the world.
Ege Okal (b. 1990, Izmir) is working and living in New York. Her work assesses, reimagines, and reconfigures the material and experiential qualities of violence, space, gender, language, diplomacy, and memory through film, animation, installation, and sculpture. She is exploring potential ways of revealing and conjuring multiple meanings in a single work and investigating different degrees of precarity and the tension between fear and humor. Both her artistic and curatorial practices involve collaborative thinking, participation, and storytelling.
She received her MFA in 2020 from Cornell University. Her recent exhibitions include Home Alone, Pera Museum in Istanbul, TR; How to Build an Ocean, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY; Tourist, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Or High Water, Safe Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Her collaborative film was screened in Istanbul Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, Anifilm, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, Stockholm Experimental & Animation Film Festival and more.
Ozan Atalan, after his graduation from Anadolu University Faculty of Law in 2007, studied Sculpture at Dokuz Eylul University`s Faculty of Fine Arts. Following his graduation in 2013, he attended Syracuse University School of Art as a Fulbright scholar. During his MFA studies, he extended his art practice through an interdisciplinary field and participated in a variety of national and international shows. He also worked as an adjunct teacher at Syracuse University. After getting his MFA degree in 2016, he moved back to Turkey. Since then, he has been continuing his art practice in Istanbul, Izmir and with international residencies and exhibitions. Currently he is working as an adjunct teacher at Izmir University of Economics, Visual Communication Department. He is also doing a PhD in Arts at Yasar University's School of Art and Design. Ozan Atalan's practice is dominated by an anti-anthropocentric approach through an exploration of human nature based specifically on alienation. With a combination of human and non-human values, introversion and extraversion, he mostly makes multimedia installations to create alternative experiences that are realistic enough not to disconnect from reality, but far enough from reality in order to be able to criticize it.