For Gallery Weekend, Berlin Art Projects proudly presents two young, Turkish artists in two exhibitions in their spaces at Mehringdamm 33. Yasam Sasmazer and Ismail Necmi both belong to the gallery’s regular program; both live and work in Istanbul and Berlin and represent important artistic positions in the Turkish art scene. The exhibitions will both be on view from Friday, April 26 at 6 pm to Monday, April 29 at 7pm. The opening is on Saturday, April 27 from 2 – 5 pm in presence of the artists.
Yasam Sasmazer ǀ Doppelgänger
We are delighted to present Sasmazer’s “Doppelgänger” figures – made especially for the artist’s first museum exhibition at the Künstlerhaus Marktoberdorf in the summer of the previous year – for the first time in Berlin. The series, which consists of five sculptures and groups of sculptures, is based on the literary model of the double. Building on earlier works, particularly the “shadow” sculptures created directly before these, Sasmazer’s figures (at first children, then youths) have grown up. The model is the artist herself. Her wooden “doubles” now stand life-sized in front of the viewer – disturbing, uncanny and immediate. The artist refers to her new project as an “attempt to look in a mirror“. With it, she follows the theories outlined by Lacan, points to C. G. Jung’s archetypes and draws reference to “the uncanny” described by Sigmund Freud. In the shadow series, she was primarily interested in a confrontation with one’s own dark side, or thoughts and feelings that society considers negative though they belong to the whole of a personality. In the “Doppelgänger”, Sasmazer confronts her own mirror image, though her figures are not studies of her own character. Instead, they show the different aspects and characteristics that make up a character, like the individual “puzzle pieces” that come together to form every whole personality. For her, it is about identity, the perception of others and of oneself.
Ismail Necmi | Should I really do it?
After the first solo exhibition by photographer and filmmaker Ismail Necmi, in which we showed black and white shots from his series “Stills from Unmade Films” on the occasion of the 2011 Berlinale, we are pleased to present this film debut “Should I really do it?” (2009). The film, which Necmi realized as its screenwriter, director and producer in one, has been shown in numerous film festivals and awarded prizes. It tells the story of Petra, a German living in Istanbul – thus ironically reversing the typical path of the Turkish migrant. Petra’s life takes so many unexpected twists and turns that in some places, the film appears to be pure fiction. But what we see is nothing more and nothing less than a life lived – a story as only she could write it. In her meetings with Herold, a masked, mysterious character, Petra reveals her life to him and us, a tale told with impressive sincerity about her existence and experience of two cultures: of Istanbul, Germany, of family and friends of drug use and death. Can reality be more surprising than fiction? Just as we see in the parallel selection of "Stills from Unmade Films", Necmi effortlessly trespasses the boundaries between reality, fantasy and art. He leads the viewer to the thin line of a difficult-to-grasp, liminal world in which everyone can live as they want without explanation or compromise.