Reading: “The world in pieces”, in conversation with Vik Muniz
We were perusing some writings and texts by Matt Hanson, an art writer in Istanbul who has …
We were perusing some writings and texts by Matt Hanson, an art writer in Istanbul who has written about our exhibitions, recently Metamorphosis at Adahan and we found his interview with Vik Muniz especially interesting. Muniz debuted his first solo show in Turkey at Dirimart in the beginning of 2018.
His reputation preceded him, as the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Waste Land”. His work with garbage pickers in the slums of Brazil, his place of birth, is relevant to economic conditions in Istanbul. The topic of spreading the wealth of the art world among less privileged people remains important, and all the more so his “recycling” approach to materials and mass visual literacy as it relates to art history.
“Globalization steered contemporary art production towards catering to a rather generic international audience, but not without some serious biases and filters based on what was happening in New York and London,” Muniz told Hanson in the interview that was published in July of 2018. “By the 19th century, there was hardly any European painter that at least did not feel tempted to use a Turkish palace, a harem’s bath, an odalisque or an intricate Islamic pattern on a work.”
Muniz was inspired by the cityscape of Istanbul for his debut solo show in Turkey. His piece, “Postcards From Nowhere: Istanbul” (2017) collaged a scenic version of the city’s historic core, with its citadels surrounded by vibrant gardens and clean water. “There’s very little possibility a western artist is not influenced by Turkish or Ottoman culture in one way or another, but most of what the west knows about Turkish contemporary culture comes in the form of literary works. I must confess that I am very ignorant of Turkish contemporary art and I hope this visit to Istanbul will remedy this a bit,” he told Hanson after being asked if he was directly influenced by Turkish art.
Muniz travelled to Istanbul to speak at Dirimart for his solo debut in Turkey. Whether or not the experience inspired him to include more Turkish themes in his artwork is a question for future posting.