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Depo is presenting the group exhibition When the Present is History, curated by Daphne Vitali and showcasing the work of 17 international contemporary artists. The exhibition, which will coincide with the 16th Istanbul Biennial, is focusing on the ways in which artists look at the past in order to engage with diverse social and political problems of today through works of art concerned with historical records that cross over not only with memory and the past, but also the present experience.
A large number of artists today, acting as archivists, archaeologists or editors, have used different methods of searching, selecting and appropriating existing images and documents. By re-visualizing, re-arranging and re-editing found material, they attempt to enquire about its status in order to create works that unsettle established narratives and imagine alternative readings.
The exhibition When the Present is History explores the ways in which artists from different backgrounds and geographies have appropriated and reconfigured historical accounts, contributing to wider dialogues on history, remembrance, forgetfulness and collective memory. The artists’ starting point is often rooted in their country’s histories so as to speak about broader social, political and economic issues and propose new viewpoints and interpretations. By looking to past, recent and contemporary documents, these artists choose to employ found photographs, images, texts, objects, sound, film and TV footage, in order to narrate anew events that are interlinked with our quickly evolving present conditions.
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