The cinematographic works by Aykan Safoğlu forge relationships – even friendships – across cultural, geographic, linguistic, as well as temporal boundaries and make open-ended enquiries into cultural belonging, creativity and kinship.
His latest work, ziyaret, visit is an attempt to sensitively deal with loss and transgression while visiting graves on the Old St. Matthew's Cemetery in Berlin. The encounters between Safoğlu and Gülşen Aktaş — an activist, feminist and longtime friend — with personalities (among them May Ayim, Ovo Maltine and the Brothers Grimm) and tales buried at the West Berlin cemetery testify to the persistence of their biographies marked by activism and passages into the present time.
In ziyaret, visit analogue photography reveals the fragile and cellular boundaries of a world oscillating between existence and disappearance, while at the same time rendering visible transitioning processes such as migration, radicalization and personal development as segments of an entirety. By emphasizing the supposedly voids—the hidden stories around the well-known Old St. Matthew's Cemetery—,Safoglu translates them into places of metaphor for a German society.
The work ziyaret, visit was realized on the occasion of Aykan Safoğlus residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude, 2018, and partly financed by the Berlin Senate.
Aykan Safoğlu (born 1984, Istanbul, Turkey) lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin. His recent exhibitions include Off-White Tulips, Ystad's Konstmuseum, Ystad (solo exhibition, 2016/17), Klassensprachen, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2018); ğ – soft g – queer forms migrate, Schwules Museum* Berlin (2017); Father Figures are Hard to Find, nGbK Berlin (2016); Home Works Forum 7, Ashkal Alwan (Beirut, 2015); Sight and Sounds: Turkey, Jewish Museum (New York, 2014). His film Off-White Tulips (2013) was awarded with the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen at the 59th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
Artist talk: Given your convenient absence
with Aykan Safoğlu and Masha Godovannaya
Feb 23, 2019, 6 pm