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[In] the Threshold

September 13, 2013 – October 19, 2013

Merkur Gallery, Mim Kemal Öke Caddesi 12, Erenler Apt D2, Nişantaşı, Istanbul

One of Turkey’s rising artists, Volkan Kızıltunç – who was awarded the Essl Art Award CEE in Vienna this year – presents a solo exhibition consisting of photographs and videos he recorded in Istanbul and other European cities, including London, between 2004 and 2012.

The artist, who sees himself as ‘a meticulous observer of the city’, photographed desolate places to explore the concept of the ‘threshold’. Kızıltunç views places in the threshold as gateways – no-man’s-lands that are ‘between the outside and the inside, but [that] don’t belong to either of them’. His photos don’t feature any people so they can concentrate solely on places, or locations where buildings or monuments once stood. By doing so, the artist comments on the impermanence of places and our lives in general.

Three videos explore similar themes. ‘The Unspectacular’ – in which the artist opens up a discussion between photography and film – is particularly arresting. As opposed to the photo series, the video shows human figures standing in various locations, completely still and staring in the camera. If there is so little movement, what separates the video format from photography, the artist asks?

Although exploring a few different themes, ultimately, Kızıltunç’s work is a timely exploration of gentrification.

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