SAHA provides production and publication support for Aykan Safoğlu’s solo show at Kunstverein Göttingen, held on 17 October – 5 December 2021. "I'll be your mirror" is an exhibition and publication project developed along with the artistic work as well as the life and migration story of the artist Aykan Safoğlu. In the project, curated by Vincent Schier together with the artist, Safoğlu's companions are brought into the center – thus creating a multi-voiced exhibition that tells stories about friendship, networks, activism, and migration and turns the solo show into a group project.
The exhibition "I'll be your mirror" follows the life, migration and family history of Aykan Safoğlu. The year 2008 is the starting point of the exhibition — it’s the year in which the artist moved from Istanbul to Berlin. From there, the exhibition weaves video essays, installations and photographs into a variety of stories that thematize migration, heroes of the past, remembrance work and history, describing both historical facts and individual experiences. Safoğlu’s friends and companions, whom he includes in his work as allies and protagonists, play an important role in the narratives that appear in the exhibition. I’ll be your mirror is an invitation to immerse oneself in the history of Safoğlu and his companions, offering, at the same time, a starting point to reflect on one’s own experiences and personal memories.
Founded in 1968, Kunstverein Göttingen presents and supports contemporary visual art while offering a broad range of art education programs. With its program of exhibitions and events, the institution is well-established within the cultural landscape of Göttingen—and enjoys a reputation extending well beyond. The program of the Kunstverein focuses on the work of young contemporary artists from Germany and abroad who work in an international context—and often presenting an artist’s first institutional exhibition in Germany.
Aykan Safoğlu was born in Istanbul and graduated from the "Art in Context" MA program at Universität der Künste, Berlin. He received his MFA in Photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, NY. His works cultivate relationships and even friendship among cultural, geographical, linguistic, and temporal boundaries. Through his work in multiple media including film, photography, and performance, Safoğlu conducts open-ended investigations into cultural identity, creativity, and kinship.
In addition to his latest solo exhibitions when a wave breaks at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2021), I'll be Your Mirror at Kunstverein Göttingen (2021), and weekend at The Pill, Istanbul (2020); he has recently participated in such group exhibitions as: Les Rencontres d’Arles: Louis Roederer Discovery Award (2021), 39th EVA International (2021), VIDEONALE.18 – Fluid States. Solid Matters (2021); The Crack Begins Within, 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2020). In 2018, Safoğlu was a fine arts fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. He was an artist-in-residence at Istanbul’s Tarabya Cultural Academy in 2019, at Beirut’s Ashkal Alwan in 2016, as well as at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten’s SAHA Studio in Amsterdam during 2014-2015. Recipient of the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen at the 59th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2013), Safoğlu was invited to participate in the public programs of the 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017) and the March Meeting 2017 at the Sharjah Art Foundation. Safoğlu is currently a PhD-Candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and where he was the 2021 recipient of the Birgit Jürgenssen Prize.