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Köken Ergun


SAHA supported the production of the new video work “Heroes” by Köken Ergun at Artspace, held between 12 April–13 May 2018.

“Heroes” deals with concepts of martyrdom and heroism that evolve around the legacy of the Gallipoli/Çanakkale Campaign. To realise the piece, Ergun worked closely with Gallipoli tour guides from Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, initially embedding himself as a regular guest without filming and then documenting more than fifty tours, culminating in 120 hours of footage. The resulting single-channel film offers a rare insight into what the artist terms ‘tourism of martyrdom’. It brings together varied war narratives as told by the different tour guides, emotional reactions of their audience, interviews with tour participants and patriotic theatre plays organised by the Turkish state to further impassion tourists visiting martyr monuments and graves.

Following its first presentation at Artspace, Sydney, “Heroes” will be exhibited with Protocinema in Istanbul in 2019, supported by a conference and an academic publication on the concepts of martyrdom and heroism.

About Köken Ergun

Köken Ergun (1976, Istanbul) studied acting at the İstanbul University and completed his postgraduate diploma degree in Ancient Greek Literature at King's College London, followed by an MA degree on Art History at Bilgi University, Istanbul. After working with American theater director Robert Wilson, Ergun became involved more with contemporary art, specifically video and performance. His multi-channel video installations have been exhibited internationally at institutions including Documenta 14, Palais de Tokyo, SALT, Garage MCA, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Protocinema, KIASMA, Digital ArtLab Tel Aviv, Casino Luxembourg, Para-Site and Kunsthalle Winterthur. His film works have received several awards at film festivals including the "Tiger Award for Short Film" at the 2007 Rotterdam Film Festival and the "Special Mention Prize" at the 2013 Berlinale. Ergun’s works are included in public collections such as the Centre Pompidou, the Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art, Stadtmuseum Berlin and the Kadist Foundation.

About Artspace

Artspace was established in 1983 as an artist-run gallery, dedicated to the presentation of contemporary and experimental art in a critical context. Artspace is Australia’s leading interdisciplinary space for the production and presentation of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, performances, artist residencies, and public programs, Artspace is where artists of all generations test new ideas and shape public conversation. Committed to experimentation, collaboration and advocacy, Artspace’s mission is to enhance the culture through a deeper engagement with contemporary art.