Internationally acclaimed Turkish artist Fikret Atay is showcasing his first solo show in Turkey this month at the Outlet//Independent Art Space in İstanbul, premiering two video works before an İstanbul audience.
The exhibition brings together two of the artist’s recent works, “Goaall!!” and “Batman vs. Batman,” both produced this year. Added to these is a selection of Atay’s earlier works, including “Spring Fever” and “Holiwuut.” Atay, who is currently presenting a video titled “Theorists” at the ongoing 10th Lyon Biennial, will also participate at the Alexandria Biennale this December, where “Gooaall!!” will be shown to an international audience for the first time.
In his videos, Atay makes reference to “country matters” through cultural, social and geographical connections. His work deals with traditional lifestyles that are marked by Western influences. “As a Turkish artist who has gained worldwide acclaim at an early age, Atay’s success is rooted in his ability to discover the universal aspects of supposedly local concerns and his ability to reflect on these,” the Outlet art space said in a written statement.
In “Batman vs. Batman,” Atay depicts the comical homonymy between the city of Batman and the superhero figure as a contention that is taken seriously by local authorities and which led to a lawsuit. Whereas internationally the case was neither taken seriously nor derided, Atay turns the event into a superhero story, similar in style to the Batman movies. The mayor of Batman mutates virtually into “The Dark Knight.” Atay’s documentary-style inquiry is meshed with snippets of the “Batman” series, thus involving the audience in a spirited and playful displacement. In “Gooaall!!” Atay delves into asphalt roads, which are billed as prime symbols of “modernism.” Atay depicts children experiencing modernism, consciously or not, as they play soccer barefoot on the asphalt road.
Born in the southeastern city of Batman in 1976, Atay has lived and worked in Paris and Batman since 2003. The artist focuses on symbols, the codes of symbols and the relationship between the concepts of identity and geography as well history in his work. Atay’s work is found in major public collections including the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal and the Museé du Luxembourg.
“Batman vs. Batman” can be seen until Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Outlet//Independent Art Space is located on Boğazkesen Cad., Kadirler Yokuşu, No: 69 in the Tophane neighborhood.
Arts & Culture