“The Actual and Transcendence” at Contemporary Istanbul

Sıtkı Kösemen

Akbank Sanat is taking place in the 15th edition of Contemporary Istanbul with an interesting exhibition like every year.

The Actual and Transcendence was going to be opened on another date and under different conditions, yet the pandemic we have been experiencing for the last year and half also effected the conditions of the exhibition. Just as human being starts over from beginning, art also says, “from the head” and The Actual and Transcendence meets art lovers with new other works under different conditions at Contemporary Istanbul. The exhibition is curated by Hasan Bülent Kahraman, 11 artists contribute to exhibition with their works. The exhibition examined the creation of art through the pandemic and possibilities of the time. In a way, it depicts how we resist to time by creating.

The Actual and Transcendence reminds us that human being can always starts over from beginning, with “da capo”, words of Nietzsche. Just the same, Contemporary Istanbul -the spring of Istanbul’s contemporary art- has been beginning despite all difficulties. Just like nature, just like human being, the art said, “Da Capo!”. The exhibition describes the resistance of art with those words: “Art is not just a rebellion against the tragic. It is to challenge the endlessness of time. It is to stand up to death. The work of art is transcendence. Death, which is another transcendence, is only defeated in the face of the work of art. Furthermore, there is not much that can go beyond death. The work of art is always destined beyond itself. It transforms beyond itself and is re/produced again in an endless cycle.”

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“Bajon” by Hande Varsat

The Actual and Transcendence considers the artwork as both actual and beyond it. What we called as beyond actual is “transcendence”. Artists who resisted the destruction days of the corona by creating, resurrected from this devastation the transcendence of the works comes with us as a proof of the actual. “Transcendence, however, is what lies beyond: beyond everything.”

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Untitled by Deniz Aktaş