Gallery Piramid Sanat, Istanbul
October 18 – November 26, 2012
Curator: Bedri Baykam
Piramid Art Center (Piramid Sanat) is holding a group show entitled “International Underground” curated by Bedri Baykam The exhibit is composed by the works of 8 artist and 3 art collectives from various countries: Eva Beierheimer – Miriam Laussegger (Vienna), Giusseppe Belvedere – Bedri Baykam (Paris-İstanbul), Núria Güell (Spain), Genco Gülan (İstanbul), Ray Harris (Australia), Aimée Zito Lema (Amsterdam), David Middlebrook (California), Radenko Milak (Bosnia – Herzegovina),Peter Polach (Slovakia), Third Belgrade (Belgrad), Veljko Zejak (Serbia)
Bedri Baykam states that when he brings together artists from different disciplines together, he is not interested in finding out whether they are famous or “sellable”: Baykam is interested in the group of artists, he choses to call the “International Underground”, not because of their credits that would secure them safe places in Biennials or art fairs. Some of them maybe even vegetating under water as unidentified living creatures. Some of them can have already quite established names. It doesn’t matter. This is not a name-dropping exhibit. Baykam can force the dose and “turn into an artist” an ex bank employee turned “bird feeder” tramp like Giusseppe Belvedere, from the streets of Paris. In his selections, Baykam did not choose to order new work productions and went rather for existing pieces, except for his spontaneous video produced together with him. The curator met Belvedere by chance in the back of the Piazza, in front of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This I-Phone film might be worth your attention…
Eva Beierheimer & Miriam Laussegger, in their installation called “art word” are bringing to life the hot debate raised by Bedri Baykam since his conference from 1992, “The Post-Duchamp Crisis” (which later turned into a book)where he proves how much contemporary art is linked to the text. So easy to try! For instance you can select any four words from the art-jargon and order an instant artsy sentences or a full article with them!
American artist David Middlebrook, participates to the show with this work “Breath of Fresh Air”. It’s probably one of the most interesting and humoristic references made to Marcel Duchamp’s famous Pissoir. This floating Pissoir, defies gravity and is really challenging even just to look at. According to Middlebrook, seems that it also looks like an enlarged respirator!
Third Belgrade, the Serbian artist’s collective’s video that choses to refer to Edouard Manet’s “Luncheon on Grass” is entitled Ručak na travi meaning the same in Serbian. A very relaxing heavenly image that has almost hypnotic qualities and generates both peace and happiness. It’s in full contrast with Radenko Milak’s war zone drawings from Bosnia-Herzegovinia. Those black and white work reminds us in an odd way of Genco Gülan’s left over pieces from a plane disaster that are preciously exhibited jewelry pieces. In order to come out from this depressive and sinister atmosphere, one can immediately go in front of the work of the Slovak artist Peter Polach “If the intellect was like a penis, this would be called masturbation”. This piece analyzes humoristically all the tensions and constipations within the art world.
Another Serbian artist Veljko Zejak, goes for surprising ceramic stamps with printed clay technique. They stand in between strange pop works and on the contrary like found ancient civilisation’s preciously imprinted stones, cleaned and recycled! He will have to tell his “international” friends, whether they were “underground” or not!
Come discover them, or the video of Ray Harris, the exquisite collage/prints of Aimeé Zito Lema, or the odd web-site link of Núria Güell, who ended up touching the porn-zone, while hunting for art funding.