Artists’ Film International 2014-2015, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul

Initiated by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, Artists’ Film International is organised in partnership with 17 international art institutions, and is dedicated to featuring videos, animations and films of visual artists from around the world. This year the programme comes to Istanbul with film from 16 countries as well two video installations from Turkey – Burak Delier’s Crisis and Control and Vahap Av?ar’s Road to Arguvan – along with a pop up exhibition from the gallery’s curator.

Delier examines the way that art intervenes in the capitalist system through the use of guerilla strategies, his video Crisis and Control focuses on how the modern-day relationship between the individual and their labour is shaped by the lifestyle imposed by neo-liberalism and flexible work conditions of the business world. Delier asks professionals to perform yoga exercises wearing their suits and in doing so, emphasises organisational and private conflicts. The video, set within the privacy of a therapy room, becomes a session in which the neo-liberal economy lies on a couch and pours its heart out.

Meanwhile Vahap Av?ar’s works are marked by the influence of conceptual art history, aiming to reveal issues that have remained veiled by using images that are engraved in memories as well as everyday objects and popular culture aesthetics. In his contribution this year, Vahap Av?ar focuses on a gigantic crack that was formed in the 1980s on the only road connecting Arguvan, artist’s native town, to the city of Malatya.

The cracks in the asphalt has rendered the road useless, yet the government neither repairs it nor builds a new one. Cut off from the world, gradually deprived of fundamental facilities, and above all the hospital and courthouse, the town was abandoned to its fate. Shot with a hand-held camera, this short, shaky and intensive video full of mystery and associations can be read as a testament of the past and recent sociopolitical conflicts in Turkey.

Further video selections will be displayed as projections or on screens under various titles such as “conflicts”, “performative interpretation of the urban”, “physical boundaries” and “narration/s of events”, etc. Moreover, the exhibition’s only video room, namely “Blackbox” hosts a different video work as an installation with every new week of the exhibition. Talks and presentations about video art and artists’ films will also be held within the scope of the exhibition.

This year contributing artists include Yuri Ancarani, Vahap Av?ar, Lee Kai Chung, Burak Delier, Dalila Ennadre, Provmyza Group, Mattias Harenstam, Oded Hirsch, Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Tran Luong, Jorge Macchi, Nicole Miller, Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, Uudam Tran Nguyen, Masooda Noora, Pallavi Paul, Elisabeth Price, Tejal Shah, Anatoly Shuravlev, Angela Su, Milica Tomic, Diego Tonus, Amir Yatziv, Tanya Busse and Emilija Škarnulyt?.

Artists’ Film International 2014-2015, until 12 March, Istanbul Modern, Meclis-i Mebusan Cad., 34433 Karaköy/?stanbul, Turkey. For more information visit

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1. Burak Delier, Crisis and Control, 2013, video still.