- What’s On
SALT Beyoğlu’s new exhibition, Forward, March!, explores Turkey’s integration of Swedish physical culture practices as part of the modernization efforts in the early 20th century. Artists Maria Andersson and Nancy Atakan investigate the adaptation of gymnastics techniques and folkloric elements and highlight narratives about Selim Sırrı Tarcan, the founder of physical education and the Olympics Committee in Turkey, as well as on the accomplishments of his daughters.
Andersson’s videos, photographs, and texts on Selma (b. 1906) question the notion of ideal, presenting the body as a tool for societal changes. She connects Selma’s aesthetic-based dance philosophy, rooted in the ancient Greek tradition, with the American dancer Isadora Duncan’s style of free and natural movements. The artist also highlights the making of the Youth Anthem and the elevation of the male-only folk dance (zeybek) into a ballroom dancing with a new choreography by the father and daughter.
Atakan’s works on Azade (b. 1908) are pertinent to the artist’s ongoing survey of women professionals and role models in Turkey. A participant of her physical training classes in Istanbul at the end of the 1970s, Atakan examines the generational transmission of body movements by focusing on the younger sister’s self-invented practice. Moving between real and fiction stories of women figures, the artist’s drawings, videos and needleworks become crucial means referencing the missing protagonists in history.
Programmed by Farah Aksoy from SALT, Forward, March! includes works selected from Andersson and Atakan’s show organized in Gothenburg in 2018, as well as new collaborative video and textile works. The public programs, which begin with a performance by the artists on June 27 at SALT Beyoğlu, will be announced online.