I am not dealing with triangle, square and circle
İz Öztat’s solo show was part of the series BENGÜ BURAK VOLKAN ALP ELMAS İZ curated by Nazlı Gürlek between September 2011-June 2012 in honor of the 35th anniversary of Maçka Art Gallery, which has been dedicated to showing conceptual tendencies since its conception in 1974.
The show, which looked into the 35 years of the Maçka Sanat Galerisi, is the result of the time İz spent among the recordings and documents from the archives of the gallery. Objects and sounds, dispersed into the labyrinthine spaces of the gallery, are left to the viewer’s disposition, along with performative actions shaped in collaboration with Gökçe Yiğitel. They all turn the space into a physical and mentaltraining field. The show which has a speculative and anachronistic structure; where the seen and the felt, the remembered and the forgotten, the real and the illusion intertwine; tackles a set of questions relating to tradition, history and cultural heritage in the production and display of art.
The title of the work, "I am not dealing with triangle, square and circle" is a citation taken from the discussions in the gallery on how the modernization project in Turkey gets interpreted in the arts, focusing on the universal claims of geometric abstraction and local heritage. The four objects scattered around the space resonate with the history of art in Turkey, referencing works that have been previously shown in the gallery. Geometric abstraction meets the tools of everyday life to invent ways of relating to a hybrid inheritance. In the video, a fragmented female figure emerges like a ghost from the tiled walls and tries to reach the knowledge embodied by the objects through an animistic quest.
İz brings together her own works with a collage, by an intellectual named Zişan, born in İstanbul in 1894, which she encountered in Maçka Art Gallery's collection. Zişan is a marginal figure who produced many photographs, photomontages, collages and written works, but nevertheless remained invisible and thus didn’t make it into the pages of history. The two works, which İz produced with inspiration from this collage by Zişan, and the title of her biography, “Every name in history is me and I is another” set the beginning to the series entitled Posthumous Production.
Libertas Securitas Justitia
İz Öztat and Burcu Yağız Yançatarol
Aegean Sea and its coasts facilitate migratory activities and witness both the struggle of the immigrants trying to get into Fortress Europe, as well as violently organized operations of Frontex (The European Border Agency) to prevent this activity. Poseidon Operation has been carried out since 2006 autonomously, unrestricted by any national or international law, to monitor and block the migratory activity between Greek and Turkish shores. Slogan of Frontex, 'Libertas Securitas Justitia' emerges ironically from the core of the reality being experienced in the Aegean waters as a 'shared' dream.
About the artist
İz Öztat is an artist based in Istanbul. She is currently a candidate for PhD in Art Practice at Yıldız Technical University, İstanbul. She lectured at Kadir Has University between 2009 – 2011. In 2008, she co-founded cura bodrum residency in Muğla as an investigation into self-organization and non-institutional support mechanisms. Her work has been included in Second Exhibition, Arter (2010) and When Ideas Become Crime (2010) at Depo, İstanbul. Her solo shows are İZ at Maçka Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul (2012), READ/ OKU at PiST (2008), Istanbul, Love It or Leave It (2005), Ohio and Nothing Disappears Without a Trace (2004), Ohio.