The Alternative Art School



As part of the collaboration with The Alternative Art School, SAHA supports the online participation of participants from Turkey in the program for the duration of one term each.The “TAAS Attending Artist Exhibition”, which includes 2021 participant of the program Ozan Atalan and 2022 participant Didem Erbaş, opened on 17 August 2022, 8 pm EST.

 “A kaleidoscope of gestures, visions, personal memories and abstract flourishes adorns this virtual gallery in this first ever group show of artists attending The Alternative Art School. As diverse as the experiences of this online community, this exhibition is an opportunity for our community to look across this digital space and see what each has been working on. Yes, as ever, the digital perhaps could be described as a facsimile of the real, but after two years of being in existence, the school has come to realize that this interpersonal exchange is merely one version of many forms of human connection and exchange.”

RSVP to the Virtual Opening Reception :

Taas Artist Exhibition

As part of the collaboration with The Alternative Art School, SAHA supports the online participation of participants from Turkey in the program for the duration of one term each. SAHA made an open call and received 36 applications from Turkey. The jury consisting of curator Çelenk Bafra, former TAAS participant and conceptual artist Vahap Avşar, and author and curator Nato Thompson, invited two emerging artists, namely Ege Okal and Ozan Atalan, to attend Quarter 2 between 30 April–18 June and Quarter 4 between 22 October–17 December, respectively. As of 2022, the jury panel, former TAAS participant and artist Ozan Atalan, artist and educator Amber Imrie, and SAHA grants and projects coordinator Nazlı Yayla, has selected the participants of the program to be held in February–May 2022, out of 33 applications. SAHA provided support for the artists Didem Erbaş and Eda Sütunç, and curator Esra Özkan’s participation in the program. 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. Ece Eldek and Çınar Eslek from Turkey participated in the Fall Session, 12 September - 18 November 2022.

Cnar Eslek

Çınar Eslek's works are about the possibilities of the body, as a complex existence, to experience (and to be experienced), to think ( and be thought), to position itself (and be positioned). The artist, mainly through autobiographical references, ponders on the forces of the body to exist and to be exposed to action while the traces of bodily movement as a dependent component of space. She focuses on the issue of representation -with all the metaphorical meaning it includes- of the whole range of bodies, the transformation of beings, their borders, and our ways of understanding them. While searching for strong attitudes of those non-unique and hybrid bodies who reject being controlled, who use art as an opportunity, who cannot stay put, who are not afraid of themselves, she discovers how they affect each other and how they tend to split.

Ece Eldek

Ece Eldek lives and works in İstanbul. She is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, graphic designer and poet. She has been working in her own studio and continues her artistic production.

Didem Erbaş

Didem Erbaş holds a BA in Painting from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and an MA in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design at the Sabancı University. She creates site-specific installations/interventions, paintings, drawings, and videos, with a focus on geography, right to accommodation, human intervention to nature, traces on spaces, and transformation. She was one of the first participants to the “Useful Art” studio under the direction of Tania Bruguera in 2013. After having worked as an assistant for Major Works of Modern Art course at the Sabancı University for two years, she now continue her pHD study in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.

Esra Özkan

Esra Özkan’s curatorial practice focuses on the raw material to highlight cognitive experiences created by interdisciplinary artists using emerging new technologies. She frequently collaborates with interdisciplinary artists/technologists who deal with the political and social problems caused by emerging technologies. Esra Ozkan’s curatorial and academic writings bring philosophy together with the post-digital terminology and the effects of Post-human concepts in interdisciplinary arts.

Eda Sütunç

Eda Sütunç received her BA from Koç University and earned her MFA receiving Dean's scholarship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sütunç works at the intersections of performance, sculpture, video, and sound. Her practice draws on feminist and queer theories to explore how gender and sexuality are built within rigid systematic frameworks. Through her works, she seeks to develop speculative narratives in recontextualizing and understanding today's social and political struggles that challenge fixed binaries. Her work has been part of exhibitions in Germany, Korea, Netherlands, UK, Serbia, Turkey, and the United States and has found a place in different collections. She currently resides in Istanbul, holds teaching positions at various universities and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication.

Ozan Atalan

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.

Ege Okal

Ege Okal 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.


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