‘Emploi Saisonnier/Seasonal Work’ project, proposed by Veronique Collard-Bovy and Celenk Bafra, is based on the research and exchange on and/or in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir, Antakya, Diyarbakir, Paris and Marseilles since 2008. The starting point was to have a closer look on the urban, social and cultural issues in the Mediterranean cities, and more specifically Turkey, together with the characteristics of the artistic practices nourished from them. This research, focused on multi-layered social and cultural problematics of the cities, on modes of collective production as well as the artists that try to stand together by various systems of exchange, resulted as a program composed by three art projects that were developed or invited from Turkey.
It was especially crucial for the artist-in-residency programme to invite artists from Turkey that are familiar with collective ways of living and working. This is why four artists from Izmir, third biggest the city of Turkey and an important sea port in the Aegean Sea, leading figures of major artist initiatives in Izmir, namely K2 and (-1) are invited in Marseilles to live and work. Even though their work, questioning on everyday life and its modes, has outcomes as individual artist works, a common approach and a certain spiritual affiliation exist due to the shared back-ground and city. The process of their residency and works contributed to the development of the exhibition ‘Arrangements’ together with the invitation of invaluable artists and artworks from Turkey supporting the theme of arrangement related to the issues of everyday life by their own approach and position.
Regarding ‘Die Weisser Stadt’ project following the residency of four members of Xurban collective, as a collective working in different parts of the globe on urban issues since 2000, it was indispensable to invite them to produce a new project on cities with a focus on Marseilles. In a city where urban transformation is harsh and controversial, Xurban comes up with new proposals by revisiting their own research and questions on contemporary politics and ideology.
A strong proposal from the city of Diyarbakir by Sener Ozmen, a city with deep political and social conflicts in the south-eastern region of Turkey, was invited as the third project to fulfill the approach of ‘Emploi Saisonnier/Seasonal Work’. Video and photography works from Diyarbakir by three artists, often making collaborations alongside with their individual artistic practice, present a common understanding on the difficulty to find a common front to agree nowadays in Turkey and the strategies of resistance in every possible way and field including the art world.