ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Fikret Atay, a well-known Turkish artist living in Paris, brings together the recent works of ’Batman vs. Batman,’ which depicts the comical homonymy between the southeastern Turkish city of Batman and the superhero figure, and ’Gooaall!!’ in which he deals with asphalt roads, which are prime symbols of modernism
Outlet//Independent Art Space presents the first Istanbul solo show of internationally renowned Turkish artist Fikret Atay. The artist is premiering two video works for the Istanbul audience.
The exhibition brings together the recent works “Batman vs. Batman” and “Gooaall!!” which were both produced this year. Added to these is a selection of past highlights, including “Spring Fever” and “Holiwuut.”
Fikret Atay has had solo exhibitions at prestigious venues such as Bonner Kunstverein in Germany, Site Gallery in the United Kingdom, Hammer Museum in the United States, Maison de l’Architecture in France, Index in Sweden and Büro Friedrich in Germany.
Atay, who is showing his video work “Theorists” at the ongoing 10th Lyon Biennial, will also participate at the Alexandria Biennial this December, where “Gooaall!!” will be introduced to a large international audience.
In his videos, Atay makes reference to “country issues” through cultural, social and geographical connections. His work is involved with traditional lifestyles, which are marked by Western influences. As a Turkish artist who has gained worldwide acclaim at a young age, his success is rooted in his ability to discover the universal aspects of supposedly local concerns.
In his “Batman vs. Batman” video, Atay depicts the comical homonymy between the southeastern Turkish city of Batman and the superhero figure, documenting a lawsuit pursued by distraught local authorities. Whereas the case was largely ignored or derided internationally, Atay turns the officials’ quest into a superhero story of its own. The mayor of Batman morphs into a real-world surrogate of 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 the video “Gooaall!!” the artist deals with paved roads, which serve as a primary symbol of modernity. He depicts children experiencing modernity, consciously or not, as they play football barefoot on the asphalt road where past meets future and center meets periphery. The old man scores in the seemingly empty net – which is perhaps kept by the viewer. He scores against the center.
The exhibition “Batman vs. Batman” can be seen from Tuesday to Saturday through Nov. 26.
Outlet//Independent Art Space
Kadirler Yokuşu No: 69
Born in Batman in 1976, Atay has lived and worked in Paris and Batman since 2003. The artist, who focuses on symbols and codes, alongside the relationships of identity, geography and history, has focused recently on the representation of time and space within the framework of personal responsibility. His work is held in major public collections including the Castile Leon Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Luxembourg.