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Cansu Çakar, Aykan Safoğlu

"The Crack Begins Within"

SAHA provides support for Cansu Çakar and Aykan Safoğlu's new productions at Berlin Biennale, held on September 5 - November 1, 2020. Curators María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio approached the 11th Berlin Biennale as a process, to be completed at four permanent exhibition venues: 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint, daadgalerie, Gropius Bau, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art.  In her series Labyrinth to Kybele (2020), Çakar creates a landscape of vignettes drawn from anecdotes in the Turkish press: A man murdered his daughter, after the look in her eye as she made breakfast convinced him that she was possessed by evil; a family tree shows the characters in this real-life drama. A keen observer of the social fault lines in Turkey today, the artist works in miniature painting as a gesture synonymous with tradition. Reviving this ancient method of storytelling, Çakar’s practice reflects on how society deals with everyday violence and injustice—and how gender inequality impacts women. Safoğlu’s work Null-Defizit (in Ablehnung) [Zero Deficit (In Refusal), 2020] examines the emotional landscape of “indebtedness” in relation to questions of German education, artistic formation, and naturalization in Germany. This history and personal biography come together in the imagery used in the video work Hundsstern steigt ab [Dog Star Descending, 2020], which the artist describes as “an imaginative, resistant retrospective vision.” The video takes inspiration from the memory of a trip Safoğlu made with his parents to Imroz, an island in the north of the Aegean Sea (today within Turkish borders). It shows strips of photographs being reassembled and animated on a scanner bed while an inner dialogue with his parents unfolds.