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Gamze Kantarcıoğlu

Goddess Venus is having a plastic surgery.

He criticizes social media but cannot do without it. He’s interested in classical arts but also follows fashion. He’s straightforward about what he feels. With his eclectic taste and inner conflicts, Ege İşlekel is a true Y-generation artist. In addition to being an interior designer, he works with a series of collages which has become a hot topic on Instagram. We’ve been following his works for a while; if you don’t know him yet, now is the time.

Write, Act, Direct: TOY İstanbul

It’d be an underestimation to define TOY Istanbul as a “theater.” It’s an organization that welcomes independent theater groups, hosts acting and screenwriting workshops, and stages its own productions. In short, it’s a place that should be visited by all those who cross paths with theater. Borrowing the first letters of “theater, acting and writing” in Turkish, TOY Istanbul has already finished its first season with 32 plays. To represent its three-letter name, we met three wonderful people from the company before the new season begins.

Remains of a Wreck: Ximena Echague

Focusing on people rather than places, Ximena Echague’s photographs present such cruel and contradictory still from life that even the most depressing wreck can leave a smile on the onlooker’s face. Chasing after two different Ostends – one in Belgium, one in Argentina – for the frames you’re about to see, the photographer reveals the striking aesthetic behind crushed dreams and lost ideals. It’s up to you to decide whether Ximena’s world is melancholic or reviving.

Everyday Archeologists: Slavs and Tatars

An art collective that dedicates itself to polemics and interactions in the Eurasian landscape “between the east of the Berlin Wall and the west of the Great Wall of China,” Slavs and Tatars believes in the power of humor and adopts George Orwell’s saying “Every joke is a tiny revolution.” Started as a reading group, the collective publishes books, prepares exhibitions and displays presentations and performances on this landscape for the last decade. Visiting Istanbul after Warsaw and Tehran, the exhibition “Mouth to Mouth” comprises works in these three forms is open at Salt Galata. Offering an extensive selection of the collective’s portfolio, the exhibition reactivates our cultural memory.

Bodies that Matter: Guido Castagnoli

Black-and-white photographs are usually sad but it’s the opposite for Guido Castagnoli’s photo series. Inspired by Judith Butler, “Bodies that Matter” series reveals the beauty of freedom and being different. Enamored by the LGBTQ+ community in Berlin, Guido collects in his frames not only images but also feelings.

Lullabies for Bad Fate: Samson Young

Has the city you live in flooded? Does a new virus in your country threaten the lives of the people? Philanthropist pop singers come to the rescue – at least they were until recently. Released in the ‘80s and ‘90s to collect aid for disaster victims, still-popular charity songs such as “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, “We Are the World” and “Earth Song” are on multidisciplinary artist Samson Young’s radar. Putting together an exhibition called “Songs for a Disaster Relief” for the Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Young examines the potential moral problems inherent in these songs. If you’re making a list of the biennale’s highlights but cannot decide which exhibition to visit, you can start by seeing Young’s works.

Losing Things and Replacing Them: Carla Simón

Stories that seem simple at first are sometimes told so beautifully that you cannot put your finger on why it affects you so much. Written by Carla Simón and based on her own life, “Summer 1993” is one such movie. It’s about a 6-year-old Frida loses her mother and moves in with her uncle and his wife; that summer, Frida both tries to cope with her loss and to adapt to her new family. The movie received the Best Feature Film at Berlin Film Festival. We talked to the director who is as simple, sincere, sensitive and gentle as her movie about the confusion of being a kid and memories.

Uncensored and Brave – and A Little Arabesque: CANAN

CANAN is a brave and inspiring artist who has abandoned her last name to free herself form the chains of patriarchy, and strolled around the streets of Bomonti naked. For her, creativity is a therapy, a cure to help her heal. She doesn’t give a damn about anyone or doesn’t worry whether anyone would want to display them while making her works. She deals with issues such as gender politics, history and mythology for over 20 years, CANAN’s business with feminism doesn’t seem to have concluded. 

Out of Ordinary: Yaron Herman

A psychology, mathematics and philosophy enthusiast; the recipient of many prestigious awards including Choc Jazzman, Disque d’émoi Jazz Magazine and Victoires du Jazz; a man of adventure and experiment… How many pianists fit this description? We know at least one – Yaron Herman.

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