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Cité des Arts artists meet in the 'Flâneuses' exhibition

The exhibition, “Flâneuses” brings together five of the artists who have participated in the Turkey Workshop at Paris’ eminent Cité Internationale des Arts Artist Residency Programme. The exhibition, curated by the Director of the Istanbul Biennial Bige Örer, will be open at the French Cultural Centre from September 13 to November 3.

The “Flâneuses” exhibition hosts the artists Aslı Çavuşoğlu, İnci Furni, Güneş Terkol, Yasemin Özcan, and İz Öztat & Zişan, who have worked at the Turkey Workshop in the Cité des Arts over different periods, with works all based on “flânerie”.

“Walking” plays a pivotal role in the exhibition, comprising works which were inspired by the interaction the artists formed with the studio they stayed in as well as with the city. Approaching walking in philosophical, geographical, spiritual, social, political, and literary terms, the artists turn their stroll through streets across the city into an unconventional field of experience, both allowing flâneuses to witness unexpected instances, and transforming their trajectory of walking into a form of memory.

Deriving from a rich literature on walking spanning a vast geography across different generations, the exhibition “Flâneuses” focuses mainly on the figure of “flaneur/flâneuse”, who emerged as an important figure in French literary culture in Paris in the 19th century, and who in later years, has assumed a timeless and universal character.

For the exhibition “Flâneuses”, İnci Furni is creating a site-specific installation that serves as a home for birds in the courtyard of the French Cultural Centre. Furni has a long-standing interest in birdhouses, and for her work in this exhibition, she is reproducing a unit of the French Cultural Centre at a smaller scale to build a birdhouse that repeats and is in harmony with the building’s architecture. Her birdhouse drawings will also be displayed in the exhibition.

Güneş Terkol will be exhibiting a new work, entitled “Good Days”, on the external façade of the French Cultural Centre. Terkol organized a workshop with women who had migrated to Istanbul for various reasons: Talking together on their experiences, traumas, and dreams, and using materials such as paper, pencil, and cloth, the participants designed a collective work of art to convey their feelings and dreams about being an immigrant, moving around the city as a woman, and about spaces to live and breathe.

Practicing her art using various materials and in different fields, Aslı Çavuşoğlu joins the exhibition with two works from two different periods: Muthoscapes and Delivery6. In Muthoscapes, Çavuşoğlu once again follows legends to point at different writings of history, and versions of the same story. Delivery6, on the other hand, refers to the deep relationship between flânerie and literature.

Yasemin Özcan will take part in the exhibition with her artist book, Air like Lemonade, a narrative shaped by a masterful style and powerful humour, encouraging the visitors to establish recurring connections on the relationship of being women/men, beholder/object of the beholder, and visible/invisible.

Yasemin Özcan’s book "Marmalade Skies" is available online in Turkish, English and French. Please click here to read or download.

In this exhibition, İz Öztat will be collaborating with Zişan, a historical figure whom she sees as her alter-ego. The installation Tö, which investigates the relation between Acéphale, an avant-garde experiment in 1930s Paris, and Zişan, is a new body of work created for this exhibition, using different mediums.

On the opening night of the “Flâneuses”, at 19:30, Yasemin Özcan will deliver a performative presentation entitled “Heart of the Flâneuse”. GuGuOu, a new group by Oğuz Erdin, Güçlü Öztekin, and Güneş Terkol, will also be in the opening at 20:15, with a performance they have developed on walking in the city, getting lost, and flânerie.

The exhibition book, designed by Özge Güven, features Bige Örer’s introduction on the exhibition and Fatih Özgüven’s article on the flânerie experiences of women authors in Turkish, as well as Özge Ejder’s interview with the artists and curator Bige Örer.

Due to the security measures of L’Institut français à Istanbul, visitors are required to fill out a registration form via the web page that can be accessed by clicking here.