11th Gwangju Biennale
2. 9. – 6. 11. 2016
Korea

Artists

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
W
Y
Z
ScreenShot20160628at010730.png

Ahmet Öğüt

For GB11, Ahmet Öğüt (b. 1981 Diyarbakir/Amsterdam/ Berlin) has developed two animation videos in the style of Korean comics—manhwa drawings—portraying the stories of two young boys who were victims of state violence. Both were struck with gas canisters during civilian protests, one in Korea in 1987 and the other in Diyarbakır in 2006. Highlighting the military and economic connections between the two countries—South Korea produces the gas canisters that were used by Turkish police, for example—Öğüt’s animations will be simultaneously displayed in Turkey and South Korea on video billboards in public space, referring to the tradition of high-altitude protests commonly practiced by workers in Korea. These were common in recent years, by lengthy occupation of construction cranes and building rooftops.

Recurrently reflecting the realm of participatory action and the resilient outreach of ephemeral communities, Öğüt's diverse practice is led by a refreshing political critique. His broad work comprises performative events, installations, collective projects, sculptures, and pedagogical actions, among other interventions.

His project Exploded City at the Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale in 2009 explored lapses in collective memory as sites for individual agency and subversion. Öğüt traced the signification of buildings before and after their destruction under traumatic circumstances, allowing the ruin-building a life and a subconscious—making space for the stories and the knowledge still there, embedded in its near-absence.

In 2012, Öğüt initiated The Silent University, a platform for the exchange of knowledge otherwise silenced by borders and conflict. Hosted by art cultural organizations, such as Tensta konsthall, Tensta, and Spring Sessions, Amman, among others, asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants are recognized as academics irrespective of the status of their papers. By creating a shared learning platform that responds to common needs, The Silent University defends a participatory mode of usership beyond the constraints of legal limitations. KM + MM

self-presentation:

Normally, I’m referred to as an artist from Diyarbakır (Amed in Kurdish), and people think I work in a wide range of media, including photography, video, and installation, which address topics such as cultural identities and political ideologies. I am also referred to as a socially engaged artist, conceptual artist, or political artist. But instead, I prefer to refer to myself as a sociocultural initiator, artist, intervenor, negotiator, and lecturer. Humor has always been present in my practice, something that I don't want to lose. I regularly collaborate with people from outside of the art world so that I can learn from them. I co-initiated The Silent University a few years ago, which is a knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Now it is more and more an autonomous organization.