Sunday, November 02, 2008

Neighbours in Dialogue: Istanbul Collection for Ars Aevi

Exhibition /// PRESS RELEASE
Neighbours in Dialogue
Istanbul Collection for Ars Aevi

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Beral Madra (Istanbul)

ARTISTS: Steve Sabella (Jerusalem); Wafaa Yasin (Galilee); Sanan Aleskerov (Baku); Lamia Joreige (Beirut); Vahram Aghasyan (Erevan); Khaled Hafez (Cairo); Shalva Khakhnasvili (Tbilisi – Paris); Farhad Moshiri (Teheran); Dilek Winchester (İstanbul);  xurban collective (Istanbul – Izmir - New York) and Andrej _erkovi_ (Sarajevo).

Sarajevo, October 2008
The Ars Aevi Project is unique in the world of contemporary art. It aims to create a regional South East European centre for world contemporary art in Sarajevo, the city known to the for its multicultural history and recent wounds, but also for being a true meeting point of artists of the world. In fact, Ars Aevi is a wide network of artists, curators, institutions of contemporary art, architects, government and non-governmental organisations, administrations and other individuals working together to form an exceptional collection of contemporary art, named the Ars Aevi Collection, that will be housed in a museum designed by the prestigious architect Renzo Piano.

Nuclei of the Ars Aevi Collection are formed by museums, centres, galleries, foundations and other institutions of contemporary art with which the Ars Aevi General Directorate makes an agreement for cooperation. To date, Ars Aevi Collection nuclei have been formed by museums or centres of contemporary art gravitating towards the Western Europe – in Milan, Prato, Venice, and Bolognano in Italy, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Vienna in Austria, and in its home town, in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second phase of enrichment of the collection is gravitating towards the East and Ars Aevi has proudly received a new addition to the Collection, formed by the prestigious Turkish curator Beral Madra in Istanbul in March 2007. Formation of new nuclei is either ongoing or planned in Zagreb in Croatia, Cetinje in Montenegro, Athens in Greece and Belgrade in Serbia in the course of the following years.

In March 2007, through collaboration with the City of Istanbul and the Beral Madra Centre for Contemporary Art, and with the support of the European Cultural Foundation and Prince Claus Fund, and under the auspice of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Kültür A.Ş., the Ars Aevi Collection was enriched with a new nucleus - the Istanbul Collection. The Istanbul Collection comprises works by artists from the South Caucuses, Middle East and Mediterranean who all belong to a younger generation, but have already received wide international acclaim: Steve Sabella (Jerusalem); Wafaa Yasin (Galilee); Sanan Aleskerov (Baku); Lamia Joreige (Beirut); Vahram Aghasyan (Erevan); Khaled Hafez (Cairo); Shalva Khakhnasvili (Tbilisi – Paris); Farhad Moshiri (Teheran); Dilek Winchester (İstanbul); xurban collective (Istanbul – Izmir - New York) and Andrej _erkovi_ (Sarajevo). The founding exhibition presenting the new works of the Ars Aevi Collection was entitled “Neighbours in Dialogue – Istanbul Collection for the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art Sarajevo” was created and coordinated by Ms. Beral Madra.

In May 2007, the works in the Istanbul Collection arrived in Sarajevo with the intent of them to be presented to the public as a group exhibition in October 2008. The exhibition organisers hope to facilitate the encounter of younger artists form the East, the West and from Bosnia and Herzegovina and by holding the encounter in Sarajevo, in context of the Ars Aevi Project, to promote Sarajevo as a cultural meeting point. At the same time, the exhibition showcases art from the South Caucuses, the Middle East and the East Mediterranean that usually receives unfairly less prominent coverage in the Western media.

The connection between the works of these artists is their occupation with the conditions in which art is created, the occupation of the state of the soul and their social environment. The Ars Aevi Istanbul Collection nucleus will, therefore, physically and strongly connect the countries from the East, creating a balance with the great number of existing Western artists in the Ars Aevi Collection.

The concept behind the Ars Aevi Project was formulated during the first months of the siege of Sarajevo, conceived as a utopian vision in the darkest days of the siege of Sarajevo. Sixteen years on, Ars Aevi is developing in cooperation with the world’s most eminent artists, artistic directors, museums, centres and foundations of contemporary art, together showing that today it is possible to discover and apply new ways of museum management. The “Istanbul Collection for Ars Aevi Collection” serves as further proof that through cooperation artists can be the builders of a new Europe.

General Directorate, Sarajevo, Centar Skenderija, Terezija bb Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: 387 33 216 919
Fax: 387 33 216 927

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