• An Independent Art Space
      Managed by Azra Tüzünoğlu, Istanbul

      Over the past year, the contemporary art scene in Istanbul has begun to move from Istiklal, the main shopping and entertainment street in the Beyoğlu district, down the hill to Tophane, a road leading to Istanbul Modern. Three galleries located in close proximity to one another now open their shows on the same night and turn the event into a type of street party in this slightly down trodden moderately conservative area. At the first of these joint openings in January, Pi Artworks showed abstract work by the Vienna-based painter, Cemal Gürsel Soyel, while both NON, the newest of the three spaces, and Outlet opened group exhibitions. In the show entitled, “A Room of Ones Own”, Outlet presented work by eight young female artists from Izmir, Istanbul, and Ankara. In her paintings, Necla Ruzgar presented unrealistic, even impossible situations, depicting male and female cultural roles. Taking her themes from proverbs and aphorism, she tells stories with political content or about tragedies caused by a patriarchal system and dogma. For example, one of the paintings presented a woman using Duchamp’s urinal while another showed a female figure praying with a knife held to her back. Taking inspiration from everyday events and mundane objects, Gokce Erhan used re-cycled nylon bags to produce images of a page from Google search and an ordinary invoice. Small three-dimensional tiny people participating in daily life events inhabit the middle of a book to present one of Irem Tok’s miniature worlds. No doubt, the most political work in the show is that by the collective, Atilkunst, arranged in the bottom floor of the gallery. Since 2007, the three female artists who form this group have produced weekly compositions, ironic critiques of contemporary political, social, and cultural events taken from Turkish media and exhibited them on-line using email. In this show they exhibit a selection of posters made from their 2009 weekly emails that reflect the current political and cultural situation in Turkey. As a whole, this exhibition concretely exemplifies Outlet’s aim to support new projects that a more conventional gallery might find risky. Since its founding, Outlet has opened a series of impeccable exhibitions all bringing a breath of fresh air to the Istanbul art scene.