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Sandra Schäfer – the shape of truth changes and shapes the truth

10/11/2012 @ 11:00 - 29/12/2012 @ 17:00

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10 November – 29 December 2012

the shape of truth changes and shapes the truth is Sandra Schäfer’s first solo exhibition in Turkey with contributions by Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan and Istanbul based artist Sevgi Ortaç. The exhibition is designed around the two-channel-video installation on the set of 1978ff (2011), in which Schäfer addresses two questions: first, how did the 1978 revolution in Iran lead to the foundation of an Islamic Republic? And second, why did so many people with different political convictions from different factions support this?

The artist’s work explores the Iranian Revolution not as a purely national event, but through the larger framework of its interconnections, echoes and reception in neighboring countries, the Middle East and the global North. She reconstructs the Iranian Revolution through examples and fragments, including various urban phenomena and representations of the Revolution in film, television and photography. From a media production and reception perspective, Schäfer and her interlocutors in the film construct a re-reading of the events of 1978. The film focuses on the processes of the circulation of images and information and on the translation of events into different contexts.

Sandra Schäfer’s new video turning inward | trading out focuses on one urban site: the Iranian Mosque located inside the Ottoman Valide Han caravanserai (inn) in Istanbul’s neighborhood Tahtakale. The title turning inward | trading out refers to the overlapping of the outward bound trade in this area, and the enclosed space of the Iranian mosque, located in the courtyard of the old caravanserai. The video traces the links, spatial narratives, documents that refer to the overlappings and distancing from the Iranian Revolution in Turkey at the end of the 1970s. Schäfer interweaves a heterogeneous material to an overall filmic narrative that remains in itself fragmentary. The video was made in collaboration with the Istanbul based journalist Ayşe Çavdar.

A selection of photographs from Schäfer’s ongoing series Urban settings and other kinds too highlights some of the spatial narratives of the Islamic gated communities within the complex of Başakşehir; a recently developed neighborhood with residence complexes – the new and expanding Islamic middle class. These photographs also hint at the new video that Schäfer currently works on.

In dialogue with her own work Schäfer invited the Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan and the Istanbul based artist Sevgi Ortaç to participate in the exhibition. A selection of photographs by the Iranian photographer Hengameh Golestan is featured in the exhibition. Golestan took these photographs during the revolution (1978/79) in Tehran. She captures on the margins of the mass protests, as well as the scenes of the private sphere. She also photographed the first protest against the emerging regime: the women’s demonstration against the imposition of the headscarf and further sanctions in March 1979.

The video Missing the Place (2011) by Sevgi Ortaç opens with the reenactment of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople during the annual celebrations. The screen split into pieces plaits the spatial narratives and imagery proposed by the language of this reenactment.

Sandra Schäfer worked on both video installations during her Berlin Senate residency in Istanbul in 2011. The video installation on the set of 1978ff is a production of mazefilm and was realized for the exhibition the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers (www.globalprayers.info) in Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst in Berlin (2011), and for Camera Austria in Graz (2012). The installation was also co-produced for the exhibition Demonstrations: Making Normative Orders at Frankfurter Kunstverein. The video installation turning inward | trading out was co-produced by Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (2012).

on the set of 1978ff, two-channel video installation plus 2 photographs, Sandra Schäfer, 58′, HD, stereo, 2011
turning inward | trading out, video, Sandra Schäfer, 30′, HD, stereo, 2012
Urban settings and other kinds too, photography serial, since 2002
Missing the Place, video installation, Sevgi Ortaç, 9′, 2011
Those Days of Revolution, 22 photographs, Hengameh Golestan, b/w, 1979; 2 photographs, c, Sandra Schäfer.

The exhibition is supported by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) and Berliner Senat für kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi, Tehran
Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi is an Urban Sociologist (MA) and Human Geographer (PhD) from the University of Paris X – Nanterre. In 2006-2007 and in 2011 she held the Nikki Keddie Balzan Fellowship at UCLA where she taught at the Sociology and Geography Departments. In Tehran she works as an urban researcher and sociologist as well as an engineer consultant. Her research focuses on women, youth, Tehran, public spaces, public spheres and cyberspace.

Ayşe Çavdar, Istanbul
After graduating from Ankara University, Faculty of Communications, Department of Journalism, Ayşe Çavdar received a Masters degree in history from Boğaziçi University. She worked for dailies like Yeni Şafak and Yeni Yüzyıl, and magazines including Nokta, Ülke, Atlas and İstanbul. She co-edited two books: (with Ergün Meriç), Cemil Meriç and the Children of this Land, İz Yayıncılık, 1998; (with Volkan Aytar) Media and Security Sector Oversight, Limits and Possibilities, TESEV, 2009. In 2010 her long interview with sociologist Nilüfer Göle was published as a book by Hayy Kitap. In 2011 she edited a special issue of Express magazine on Neo-Islamism. Currently she works on a research project on the role of the Islamic middle class in Turkey using the example of the religious gated community district Başakşehir in Istanbul.

Hengameh Golestan, London/Tehran
Hengameh Golestan is a pioneer among Iranian women photographers. She has been documenting live in Iran for twenty-eight years. She has photographed vast numbers of women and children, instances of family life, traditional wedding and everyday life in Iran. During the revolution, she captured moments of rebellion on the part of women. Hengameh Golestan was born in 1952 in Tehran. She developed her own photographic practice and has assisted her husband Kaveh Golestan on various projects. Hengameh Golestan has travelled extensively to towns and villages in Iran and Kurdistan. Her work has been exhibited in Iran, Great Britain, Syria amongst others.

Sevgi Ortaç, Istanbul
Sevgi Ortaç is an artist living in Istanbul whose work deals with memory, space, monumentality and cultural heritage. She has graduated from Dutch Art Institute in 2010. She has published the artist book the Monument Upside Down in the same year. Her video Missing the Place was realized in the framework of the project Global Prayers (www.globalprayers.info) and co-produced by Heinrich Böll Stiftung for the exhibition the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers in NGBK, Berlin (2011), and Camera Austria, Graz (2012).

Sandra Schäfer, Berlin
The artist and writer has previously dealt with themes of representation of gender, urbanity and (post-) colonialism. Schäfer has made repeated visits to Kabul and Tehran since 2002. Schäfer has been involved in different collaborative projects with filmmakers, activists and theoreticians. Together with the Berlin based filmmaker Elfe Brandenburger and in collaboration with actresses, filmmakers and activists from Kabul she made the film Passing the Rainbow. She is the co-curator of the film festival Kabul/Teheran 1979ff: Filmlandschaften, Städte unter Stress und Migration (Kabul/Tehran 1979ff: Film Landscapes, Cities under Stress and Migration) that took place in 2003 at the Volksbühne Berlin. In 2006 a book under the same title was published in the publishing house b_books in Berlin. In 2007-2008 she co-curated the SPLICE IN film festival and lecture program on gender and society. In 2009 her book stagings. Kabul, Film & Production of Representation was published. Schäfer’s films and video installations have been shown at the House of World Cultures in Berlin (2011), the Whitechapel Gallery in London (2007), Camera Austria in Graz (2011) and in international film festivals like Flying Broom Ankara (2009), Berlinale Forum Expanded (2007), Monterrey Filmfestival Mexico (2006) and Mostra internacional de films de dones de Barcelona (2008).

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Siyasal İslam, İran, Türkiye Bu Sergide

The shape of truth changes and shapes the truth


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10/11/2012 @ 11:00
29/12/2012 @ 17:00
Event Category:


Depo İstanbul
DEPO / Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12 Tophane
İstanbul, 34425 Turkey
+90 (212) 292 39 56 - 57