Gülsün Karamustafa. Irreversible Remnants
Sep 15, 2022 – Feb 24, 2023
Curator: Lidiya Anastasova
The n.b.k. Billboard project is located in the public space at the intersection of Friedrichstrasse and Torstrasse, a two minutes’ walk from Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, embedded in a central and highly frequented urban environment. Works by international contemporary artists has been presented here every six months, specially conceived for the large-format surface, and inviting visitors and passers-by to engage with the aesthetic and social implications of contemporary art as well as with the urban environment.
In her work, which spans different mediums and genres to include painting, film, installation, and performance, Gülsün Karamustafa explores themes of migration, exclusion, state violence, religion, urbanization, feminism, and gender. In doing so, she questions and deconstructs Eurocentric stereotypes and an iconography dominated by the Western art canon. As one of Turkey’s most significant artists, she strongly influenced later generations of artists – not least because of her fight for democracy and freedom of expression, for which she was banned from leaving the country following the military coup in 1971 until 1987. Karamustafa’s artistic practice is mostly based on profound historical, site-specific and socio-political research, interwined with autobiographical moments, and finally bulding a new narrative, which connects to contemporary discourses.
Starting point for Karamustafa’s new work Irreversible Remnants – especially conceived for the n.b.k. Billboard-Series –, is her fascination for the first film salons in Berlin, founded in 1913, only one year before the First World War. In addition to the billboard, a projection of the film The Suffragette (1913), starring the famous actress Asta Nielsen, will be shown at n.b.k. on the 1st floor. While the controversial film was shown in its full length in movie theaters in Berlin, it was so heavily censored in Bavaria that director Urban Gad refused to have it shown there.
Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946 in Ankara, lives in Istanbul and Berlin) was awarded the prestigious Roswitha Haftmann Prize in 2021; in 2014 she received the Prince Claus Award. Solo and group exhibitions include: Istanbul Biennial (2022); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Lunds Konsthall, Sweden (both 2022); Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (2021); Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2016); Villa Romana, Florence (2015); SALT Istanbul (2014); EMST, Athens (2012); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2008); Tate Modern, London (2016); Malmö Konstmuseum; Jewish Museum, New York (both 2015); São Paulo Biennial; Gwangju Biennial (both 2014).