AN INVITED NEIGHBOUR
September 6 – November 25, 2017
“15th Istanbul Biennial, Neighbouring Event”
For the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Galeri 77 is proud to be hosting a very special exhibition titled “Komşuya Davet (An Invited Neighbour)”, in collaboration with Biennial’s “Neighbouring Events”. Carefully selected works from 21 artists including Armén Rotch, Tigran Tsitoghdzyan and Daron Mouradian will be presented to all art enthusiasts in Galeri 77’s renewed space in Karaköy, with the main theme of seeing through the eye of a neighbour all the variable states of mind - often obligated to confront it, but sometimes seeking to escape it - of humanity that has been forced to transform by the rapidly changing conditions in today’s world.
The word “komşu” (equivalent of “neighbour” in Turkish) derived from an old Turkic word “konşı”, meaning those who live or lodge close by in Uyghur language, about 1.000 years ago. This definition of closeness usually refers to the spatial-local-geographic aspect of the subject. By drawing the boundary between us and our neighbours, the walls in our homes both show us what is ours and where ours end. Thus, the neighbour, meaning those beyond our walls-borders, appears to us quite often as someone who is intriguing and to be watched out for, while other times they are people whom we can cooperate with; and from time to time they are a subject of our coveting or even outright envy. Hence the neighbourhood relations are constantly variant; utterly complex and challenging. As a matter of fact, the well-known Turkish proverb “get right neighbours rather than the right house”, highlights the fact that a certain space can only be valuable with neighbours in it. This constant change and the process that has been experienced also show us that the concept of neighbourhood has a “temporal” dimension to it. We always hear that the neighbourhood relations of old has been lost. Whilst the world is changing at a great pace nowadays, the humanity, forced to ceaselessly transform just to keep up with this pace, becoming isolated as they individualize and estranged as they become more isolated in return; all the while rendering their relations with their circle-neighbours a subject to this change as well…
With this exhibition in liaison with 15th Istanbul Biennial and its main theme, “a good neighbour”, Galeri 77 addresses these very neighbourhood relations that are constantly variant from the eyes of not only geographical (international), but also regional and spatial neighbours. Over the years, most of our neighbours have kept their same old address but some of them have moved far away; they have very different life stories and occupations. This exhibition, wherein we barge into the lives of our neighbours, focuses on highlighting the solitude, the obsessions and the deep melancholy of humanity; while ultimately revealing how similar those variable states of mind are. The exhibition, in order to confront it, also criticizes the state of mind of humanity, varying between hope and hopelessness with the effect of the changing conditions in today’s world; while other times it completely ignores it and opens way for a more lighthearted realm filled with irony and humor.
In order to better express the inconstant dynamism in neighbourhood relations, the exhibition time has been prolonged (to 3 months) in purpose. The exhibition during this period of time, is deliberately constructed to act as having an atmosphere just as in visiting a neighbour: increasing or decreasing often to better experience the time-related inconstancies, with new names and works constantly added or removed and constantly renewed/changed/transformed – it was therefore designed as an exhibition with rotation. It even goes on to move a special selection of the Works to another one of the neighbouring events, Contemporary Istanbul 2017 between 14-17 September to better accentuate this point. Just like the reciprocal visits between neighbours!