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Aslı Çavuşoğlu, "Muthoscapes"

What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures

The curatorial concept developed by Christian Jankowski for Manifesta 11 looks at the various professions practiced in Zurich, aiming to explore the significance of one's profession in defining one's identity in contemporary culture.  Under the title “What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures” international artists will work together with Zurich-based workers from a variety of professions to create around 30 new productions.  Each of these artistic projects will be exhibited in three different ways: at a satellite venue, in a classical art institution and in the form of a film screened at the Pavillon of Reflections.

SAHA provided support for the production of the new work titled "Muthoscapes" by Aslı Çavuşoğlu participating in Manifesta –The European Biennial of Contemporary Art held between 11 June–18 September 2016.

For ancient Greeks, muthos meant something other than ‘myth’. It described a story unveiling the true origin of the world and human beings. Since the early twentieth century, the story of the Atlantis-like Mu –a lost continent thought by some to have existed long ago in the Pacific Ocean– has stood for utopian reverie, lost ground and elegiac allure. Any longingly imagined or remembered place, time, or state can be referred to as “Mu”. Aslı Çavuşoğlu's project searches for this utopia in paintings of Swiss landscapes. Collected from antique stores and flea markets, the paintings were first examined and x-rayed. With guidance from Çavuşoğlu, Evren Kıvançer used restoration techniques to remove layers of patina and varnish responding to the painter's original brushstrokes, revealing what lay beneath the surface. Çavuşoğlu draws links between the original state of an artwork and our origins as human beings. Switzerland is cast as a utopia, Mu, which has a particular resonance given the current local debate surrounding immigration.

About Aslı Çavuşoğlu

Aslı Çavuşoğlu (b. 1982, Istanbul) lives and works in Istanbul. Her projects examine the way in which cultural and historical facts are transformed, represented, and interpreted by individuals. Working across various media, Çavuşoğlu often assumes the role of an interpreter, writer or facilitator in her projects in order to highlight the precarious and subjective nature of our shared histories. Recent solo shows include In Diverse Estimations Little Moscow, RISD Museum, Providence (2014); The Stones Talk, ARTER, Istanbul (2013); Murder in Three Acts, Delfina Foundation, London (2013). Recent group shows include Surround Audience: The New Museum Triennial, New York (2015) and The Crime Was Almost Perfect, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2014). Çavuşoğlu also took place in the collaborations of the 14th Istanbul Biennial.

About Manifesta

Along with the Venice Biennale and documenta in Kassel, Manifestais one of the foremost art events in Europe.  It differs in its pan-regional approach, travelling to a different location for each edition, and is known as the European Biennial of Contemporary Art.  After the first edition was held in  Rotterdam in 1996, in the following years Manifesta was held in Luxembourg (1998), Ljubljana (2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004), Nicosia (planned for 2006 but later cancelled), Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (2008), Murcia (2010), Genk  (2012), and St. Petersburg  (2014). Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centers of artistic production, and its nomadic character sets it apart from other organizations.