Azadeh Akhlaghi, Volkan Aslan, Nancy Atakan, Sam Curtis, Mehmet Dere, Carol Sabbadini, Anna Heidenhain, Borga Kantürk: Trade Routes
This touring/developing exhibition invites artists to consider Trade Routes as an actual and poetic departure point for a discourse on trade, mobility, and translation. The exhibition will be stopping at galleries in multiple cities, and features works by artists from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Italy and Iran. It will chart a developing international dialogue and evolving articulation of the core concept of movement and transformation. The invited Artists have responded to or will present work that engages with these concerns.
"Trade Route" is suggested here as a historical model of mobility and cultural exchange in relation to current international conditions. Notionally Trade Route can be seen as a system to challenge the borders of the nation state and the claims of globalization. It aims to consider the contemporary immaterialisation of commerce towards a knowledge economy, the replacement of physical systems such as railroads and highways by digital networks and ceaseless information.
The resultant fragmentation of lived reality and dislocation of individual experience from societal narratives of consequence through these disembodied and de-located exchanges make it harder to connect action with consequence. How do we identify the mechanisms perpetuating this increased precariousness, in effect a hyper-exploitation and mobility within our industries? How are we as artists implicit in and effected by these processes? It is therefore urgent to articulate subjective attitudes in relation to this condition, the question of the contexts of production. How do our individual geographies and narratives shape our actions, representations and impressions as artists? When these manifestations of situated knowledge come into contact, how do they translate? What position can radical culture now credibly occupy?
This show will take into account Appadurai suggestion of 'scapes' as "fluid and irregular shapes of the global landscape", global mobility, the increased numbers of people in circulation, the movement of resources and information and an understanding of space as a network of flows (Harvey) and geographies as existing in 'relation' instead of location.
The show will make its first stop on route in Istanbul. It will create a temporary island amidst the flows and forces in operation, a choke point allowing for a temporal hiatus, a physical manifestation and investigation of these concerns. This pause is part of a series of stops, a decisive moment and articulation that will then travel and relocate to a new city, evolving and reformatting as it goes.