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As an artist, curator and publisher, Halil Altındere (*1971 Mardin, Turkey) is one of the most important protagonists in the contemporary art scene in Turkey. In 2014 his video Wonderland (2013) was already part of the group exhibition Affekte at the Kunstpalais Erlangen. Now the solo exhibition Who the f*ck is Halil Altındere? opens a wider view on the topics in his diverse oeuvre.
His newest video work Angels of Hell (2014), which was created in co-production with the Kunstpalais, is on show for the first time in Germany: In the style of an action movie good and evil fight until a lookalike of Atatürk together with a muscle-bound Miss Turkey blow up the gangster meeting.
Based on the question of individual identity between modernity and tradition, city and province, authority and control Altındere analyses the mechanisms of living together in a society. Ironically and provocatively he uses symbolism and language of the system that he criticizes.
Inspired by daily life in the streets of Istanbul, Altındere in his younger works turns the gaze to the life of different subcultures: Miss Understood (2010), a former man, proudly and self-confidently presents herself in the Turkish national colors red and white. With this photograph the artist takes up the difficult situation of transsexuals in Turkey, where they are not accepted socially and also discriminated by the state. With the wax sculpture The monument of an illegal street vendor (2012) the artist memorializes a vendor of forged designer handbags and therewith another part of society that is often treated with contempt. Playing with the beholder's anticipations the works of Halil Altındere try stereotypical ideas and question the relationship between citizen and authority. Quite subversively and ambiguously he explores the role of art and artist in this context.
In two photographs of his mother Altındere combines two important art movements of the century with his own origin as a son of Kurdish parents. In My mother likes pop-art because pop-art is colourful (1998) and My mother likes fluxus because fluxus is anti-art (1998) he shows her in colourful clothes, cross-legged on multi-coloured pillows, reading a Pop Art and a Fluxus catalogue. The reference to historical as well as contemporary sources of western art and culture is to be found in other works by the artist as well. In Tips for artists who want to sell (after Baldessari) (2012) for example he expands John Baldessari's list with criteria how an artwork should be composed to be sold for the best price. Altındere in this way also reflects his own role as an artist in the art market system.
>> Photo Tour through the exhibition
With information about the artworks and contexts.
Who the f*ck is Halil Altındere?
21 January - 22 March 2015
Curator: Sarah Lampe