Exploring founding ideologies constructed by nation states, and the struggles to resist them, IMMA invites Iz Öztat to present an artist’s talk and in gallery conversation on the most recent commissioned installation, titled Rest 2024, made while on residency at IMMA.
The installation and video Rest contemplates forms and gestures that evoke subjugation, struggle, resilience, confrontation and negotiation and recovery. Öztat will discuss the ideas, processes and research that inform this new body of work. We will also learn how this relates to ongoing collective processes that are central to Öztat’s wider practice, including the artist’s ongoing collaboration with Zişan (1894 – 1970), who appears to her as a historical figure, a ghost and an alter ego. This is manifested in other works by the artist, that are currently on view in the main galleries, as part of the museum wide exhibition Self-Determination: A Global Perspective.
The talk commences in the IMMA Lecture Room, with an introduction by curator of the commissions Johanne Mullen (IMMA Collection Curator) followed by Iz Öztat’s Artist’s Talk. We conclude with an in-gallery exploration with the artist, where attendees can view commissions by İz Öztat and others, newly featured as part of the final iteration of Self-Determination: A Global Perspective presented in the IMMA’s Courtyard Galleries.
In her collective and individual artistic practice spanning diverse media defined by her research, İz Öztat explores the persistence of violent histories through forms, materials, space and language. She responds to absences in official historiography through spectral, intergenerational and speculative fictions. İz Öztat fabricates the (auto)biography of Zişan (1894-1970), who appears to her as a historical figure, a ghost, and an alter ego. She takes on Zişan’s archives and interprets them through her practice to construct a complex temporality of action that enables the suppressed past to intervene in the increasingly authoritarian present. The values and methodologies driving her practice have been articulated in relation to struggles against the taming of running waters and have been informed by consensual negotiation of power dynamics.
Selected exhibitions include Self-determination: A Global Perspective, IMMA, Dublin (2023); The Colony, Schwules Museum, Berlin (2018); Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); Land without Land, Heidelberger Kunstverein, (2016); Salt Water: A Theory on Thought Forms, 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015). Her academic articles, essays and fictional texts have been published in various media. She has been dedicated to expanding the discursive potential of art by being part of artistic research processes in self-organized, academic and institutional settings. Öztat participated in artist residency programs in Amman, Berlin, Dublin, London, Istanbul, Madrid, Mexico City, Oslo, Paris and Yerevan. She is currently a recipient of the Berliner Förderprogramm Künstlerische Forschung / Berlin Programme for Artistic Research.
İz Öztat (1981, Istanbul)
Rest, 2024 UHD video, 33′ 30”
Installation, Commissioned by IMMA
Presented in the courtyard galleries – The installation sets the stage for working through the top-down imposition of ideologies that attend the founding and perpetuation of nation states, as well as the struggles to resist them. In the video, a group of fellow artists activate the installation, drawing on embodied collective memories that relate to multiple connotations of the word “rest”:
The rest here refers to those whose existence and equal rights are denied by those in power. Resting on one’s shoulder is a burden of violent histories motivated by sovereign fantasies of total control over the rest. Collectivizing mourning as a demand for justice is at once an attempt to put the dead to rest, and to pave the way for a future of recovery that rests in the struggles for freedom and peace.
Rest grapples with these multiple meanings through forms and gestures that evoke subjugation, struggle, resilience, mourning, confrontation and negotiation.
SELF-DETERMINATION – A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
IMMA has commissioned new works by Array Collective, Jasmina Cibic, Declan Clarke, Minna Henriksson and İz Öztat; alongside co-commissions by Banu Çennetoğlu, and Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind. The commissions bring together international artists to critically reflect on the outcomes of the self-determination movements, shedding light on the successes, failures, and unanticipated consequences. See more details here