As of 2018, two scholarships will be granted annually to artists who live in Istanbul. The existing Istanbul stipend of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe was expanded to a true exchange, with a jury annually selecting two artists from Istanbul to be sent to Berlin and vice versa. The aim is to further enhance the relations between the partner cities of Berlin and Istanbul as well as the connections to the Turkish art scene. This is done with the conviction that international exchange and direct communication allow cultural diversity be experienced as an enrichment, inviting people to a change in perspective.
The scholarship takes place as part of a cooperation between the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and ZK/U (from 2018 to mid 2021), from June of 2021 on with Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, and DEPO in Istanbul.
15 January – 15 June 2022
İrem Sözen works with photographs, both archival images and pictures she takes herself. She approaches photography as a language that comes close to literature in terms of its diversity and its potential to convey meaning. She creates texts out of photographs, putting them together like words and sentences; the pictures serve as fragments that she weaves into a single narrative, into a feeling that emerges from experiences from different times and places. She has also long been interested in pictures with regard to language and the senses, fascinated in particular by the seemingly silent worlds of animals and plants on account of their capacity for generating meaning without using words. She publishes her picture essays in book form, mostly as part of independent and collective projects.
In Berlin, Sözen will continue a project she began in 2016 with photographs from Berlin’s botanical garden and zoo, focussing on relations between humans and nonhumans, the history of these relations, and nonverbal attributions of meaning. How do we perceive other species? How do we relate to them and to their subjective worlds that we can never fully comprehend?
İrem Sözen (born 1984 in Istanbul) studied engineering in Istanbul and Milan. Since 2005 she has been focussing on photography and the art of bookbinding. Her work has been shown in many exhibitions and at photography festivals, including her solo show “turnaround” at Operation Room Gallery, Istanbul (2015) and group shows including “Personal Mythologies”, Cork Photo Festival, Ireland (2015), “Animals’ Side”, Mixer Gallery, Istanbul (2017), “L’oeil et la nuit”, ICI: Institut des cultures d’Islam, Paris (2019), “The Female Side of The Moon”, Galerie Z22, Berlin (2021) and “Sound is the silence of the image”, Fabrikraum, Vienna (2021). http://www.iremsozen.com/
The stipend of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe is made possible in the frame of a cooperation between the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin as well as DEPO in Istanbul.