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London: Arts Territory

May 1, 2014 - May 8, 2014


Non – static Depiction

Juhani Tuominen, Alicja Dobrucka

1 – 8 May, Vyner Sreet Gallery | London , UK

Non-Static Depiction addresses the concept of folklore as well as traditional craft and design in the work of contemporary artists. Inspired by local traditions from the Turkish region of Sivas, the project encourages the exploration of local craft and design practices within a contemporary framework. The title of this project is taken from the Joseph Kosuth essay “The Artist as Anthropologist”, in which Kosuth describes how an artist, as opposed to a disengaged scientist/anthropologist, has the ability to be immersed in a researched culture and affect it. Artistic activity, as praxis, does not function as a detached overview of culture but is socially mediating and engaging. Using this as a starting point, the two exhibiting artists have conducted research-orientated projects in the Turkish region of Sivas, seeking to create new artworks in response to the local culture and traditions of the region.

The resulting exhibition presents artworks that draw on the artists’ own regional (Polish and Lappish) traditions while celebrating particular materials and iconography with strong references to traditional Turkish craft. Although the pieces presented are profoundly influenced by Sivas heritage, they also contain an underlying reference to the artists’ own cultural identities and personal experiences. In addition, they highlight the contrast between contemporary and traditional, urban and rural, old and new, minimalism and ornament. The works emerge from this cultural encounter, conveying an artist’s reflections on tradition and identity along with an engaged observer’s reflections on Turkish heritage.

Some of Alicja Dobrucka’s presented works form part of her long-term research project entitled Culture Translated, in which she explores the cross-cultural dialogue between the traditional forms of folk art and craft from different countries around the world. She works with a design used in traditional Polish paper cutting and introduces the form to local craftsman. Through collaborative work they produce/reproduce the original design using their local techniques.

Finnish painter Juhani Tuominen investigates the connections between Turkish and Lappish traditions. His presented work draws inspiration from several sources, including his personal encounters with Turkish culture and the tombs (türbe) from the Ottoman period. According to Juhani, his first image of Sivas was the old kilim carpet he bought in Kasimpasa, Istanbul to use as a sofa cover. He uses this carpet design and tanbur music to represent his impression of the region. Juhani’s other pictures relate to türbe motifs in Sivas and other parts of Central Anatolia. He attempts to represent the atmosphere of the interiors of the tombs, which he likens to waiting rooms. His works also pay tribute to Turkish classical music and traditional instruments, particularly the ney, tanbur and oud.

Sivas (Turkey) | London (UK) | Rovaniemi (Finland)

The Non-static Depiction exhibition is curated by Katarzyna Sobucka. The participating artists were selected in partnership with Merja Brinon from The Artists’ Association of Lapland.

The project is presented by two organisations working in partnership: Arts Territory (London), The Artists’ Association of Lapland (Rovaniemi, Finland).

Non-static Depiction is part of the TANDEM Turkey-European Union Cultural Managers Exchange Programme. TANDEM is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), MitOst (Berlin) and Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul), and is supported by Stiftung Mercator (Essen).



May 1, 2014
May 8, 2014
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Vyner Street Gallery
23, Vyner Street
London, E2 9DG
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