The Pavilion of Turkey at the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia will present Ali Kazma's new video series "Resistance" from 1 June to 24 November, 2013. In "Resistance", Ali Kazma explores the discourses, techniques and management tactics developed for the body today and focuses on the interventions and strategies that both release the body from its own restrictions and restrict it in order to control it. Curated by Emre Baykal, the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Artiglierie, Arsenale, in the main venue of the biennale.
The Pavilion of Turkey is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), sponsored by FIAT and realised under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Republic of Turkey with the contribution of The Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry.
The Pavilion of Turkey at the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia was presented at a press meeting on Monday, 25 February at Salon İKSV. The artist Ali Kazma, the curator Emre Baykal, the General Manager of İKSV Görgün Taner and CEO of TOFAŞ Kamil Başaran on behalf of Fiat, participated in the meeting.
The CEO of Tofaş Kamil Başaran delivered a speech on behalf of Fiat: "As Fiat, a brand of Tofaş which has been leading the development of Turkish automobile industry and economy in the past 45 years, we are proud to be the sponsor of this precious art event in 2013, as in 2011."
Following the speeches, Emre Baykal and Ali Kazma gave detailed information on the conceptual framework of the Pavilion of Turkey and the project "Resistance".
Emre Baykal, who has collaborated with Ali Kazma on the occasion of several exhibitions and projects since the 7th Istanbul Biennial, 2001, stated that as a multi-channel video installation, "Resistance" grew out of an earlier series, "Obstructions" (Engellemeler) the artist has produced since 2005. In "Obstructions", Ali Kazma has carried out research into the tense equilibrium between order and chaos, and life and death, into the efforts of the human being to hold together a world inclined towards disintegration and destruction, and the diversity of physical production developed to achieve this, and what such production might mean in the context of human nature. "Resistance" explores how the body is shaped today via scientific, cultural and social tools and how as a performance site it is repeatedly re-produced. In other words, "Resistance" conveys the productive activity of the body as a creative force directly onto the body itself; the producer and the produced, the shaper and the shaped this time unite in the materiality of the body.
Ali Kazma's work "Jean Factory" from the "Obstructions" series was shown at the press meeting to illustrate how "Resistance" relates to the previous works of the artist.
Ali Kazma explained that the works in the "Resistance" series to be premiered in Venice record the processes that both construct and control the body, and explore the human being's struggle to break the social, cultural, physical and genetic codes of the human body in order to render it perfect, as well as the processes that transform the body into the conveyor of new symbols and meanings. The almost one year-long filming process of the project was carried out in various parts of the world, in different settings and with different subjects. In "Resistance", Kazma attempts to read the complex meanings and the enigma produced by the body as a physical and conceptual space from within a broad network of relations. Amongst the various settings of "Resistance" are a film set in Paris, a prison in Sakarya, a school and a hospital operating room in Istanbul, a university where robot production and experimental research is carried out in Berlin, a medical research laboratory in Lausanne, a tattoo studio in London, and a theatre hall in New York.
A book will accompany Ali Kazma's video installation "Resistance". Published by Yapı Kredi Publications, the book is designed by Esen Karol who has also designed the communication materials of the project. The book will be available at the launch of the pavilion with two separate editions in Turkish and English and will subsequently be sold in major bookstores.
The Pavilion of Turkey at the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia will inaugurate with the opening ceremony to be held on Thursday, 30 May. The biennale will be open for visitors from Saturday, 1 June onwards until 24 November 2013.