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Borga Kantürk

Memory Research Office: Collect.Cut.Create.Re-Create

SAHA supported the production of Borga Kantürk’s work for his solo show at the Škuc Galerija (8–22 May 2015) organized by SCCA–Ljubljana.

Borga Kantürk is a man of complementary worlds, constantly blurring the boundaries between the roles of artist and curator, between visual and conceptual practice and between different media. This and the specificities of the space in which he works are vital for a detailed reading and understanding of his body of work. He uses his works to answer questions from the local environment, although he can easily be understood within the international context due to the universality of his themes. Kantürk reawakens overlooked, half-forgotten local stories, attributes new meanings to them, hence drawing attention to the blind spots in our understanding of the workings of the world, which we are either not aware of or choose to willfully ignore. He uses his art to recreate stories, his own history and memories, setting up parallel realities, and hence questioning the ways in which we understand reality. The author’s references more often belong to the world of literature than art – his works reflect the influence of Turkish poetry, Tabucchi, Melville, Borges, Perec, Kafka...

His art practice is based on archiving: he collects useful objects, photographs, newspaper articles, his own memories … and assembles them into collages, arranges and rearranges them, cuts them up and uses them to create compositions ... up to a point of saturation, or until they are made into “historical” documents. This can be seen in the installation “Playing Around with the Archive” and in the video “Destructed Archive 2 (After Bologna)”. With his methodical approaches and spatial interventions, Kantürk calls into question the blatancy of daily social life. The archive represents the metaphor for life to him. How to choose from the confusing mass of information, how to classify it; what to keep and what to emphasize; what to ignore and what to discard? Or to first select a topic and then attempt to present it, whilst looking for a proper term, or to pursue the path the other way round: to choose seemingly random data, to find some underlying theme, and then develop the story?

About Borga Kantürk

Borga Kantürk was born in Izmir in 1978. He completed his BA (1999) and MA (2003) at the Painting Department of Dokuz Eylül University. He continued his doctoral degree at his alma mater. In 2005, he completed a 3-month residency program, that was supported by Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center and resulted in the exhibition entitled Borga Kantürk & Ahmet Öğüt. In the same year, he participated in another artist residency program in Helsinki, with HIAP and later on, he curated several exhibitions and events, commissioned by FRAME (FİN), Av-Arkki (FİN), Atelier Frankfurt (DE) and K2 Art Centre (TR). Borga Kantürk is the founder and director of KUTU Portable Art Space. In addition, he is the co-founder of K2 Art Centre, at which he served as the project manager until 2007.

Borga Kantürk has participated in many local and international exhibitions which include The Sick and the Building, 2012; Cafe Recordis, 2011, NON, İstanbul; Where the Fire has Struck, DEPO İstanbul, 2011; Trade Routes, Pi Artworks, İstanbul, 2011; Emploi-saisonnier, Sextant et Plus, La Friche, Marseille, 2010; Freefall, Apartment Project, İstanbul, 2010; Relative Positions and Conclusions, Suriye Pasajı, İstanbul, 2009; Accumulated: Put aside, Left aside…, 5533, İstanbul, 2009 and Save as, Contemporary Art from Turkey, Bovisa Triennial, Milan, 2008.

About the SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana

SCCA–Ljubljana is a non-profit cultural center, established in 2000 (a successor to the Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana, 1993–1999). Their diverse activities address artists, curators, theorists, and critics in the fields of visual and new media arts. Amongst their projects, they have established two pioneering cultural programs in Slovenia: DIVA Station (a physical and web archive of video art) and World of Art (School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art).