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The juxtaposition of historical and contemporary perspectives is a key element of the exhibition, Self-Determination: A Global Perspective where IMMA invites several artists to respond to the long-term impacts of nation building. To coincide with presenting the installation, right? by Banu Cennetoğlu, we invite critical legal scholar Başak Ertür to present a talk that takes the installation as its departing point. This is followed by a conversation with the artist, and screening, where we explore interdisciplinary interests in the relationship between law, memory and history.

Başak Ertür is a critical legal scholar based at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and an associate member of Forensic Architecture. From the context of her research for her book Spectacles and Specters: A Performative Theory of Political Trials (Fordham University Press, 2022) Ertür reflects on Cennetoğlu’s work right? This provides the departure point for a deeper reflection on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR -1948) and the human rights regime whose initiation it marked, exploring the meaning of the declaration itself, its history, monumental performativity, its promises and ruins.

The talk is followed by a conversation with artist Banu Cennetoğlu; and a film screening of EREN, 2023 – an award-winning documentary on the life and work of the human rights lawyer and activist, Eren Keskin.

Banu Cennetoğlu is the National College of Art and Design’s 2024 Creative Fellow, this talk is kindly supported by the Creative Futures Academy.

Film Screening

3.30 – 5.00pm
Location: Lecture Room
Free, Drop-in

Directed by Maria Binder
Germany, 2023 Documentary, 95min

EREN portrays a woman who has been fighting for fundamental rights and peace in Turkey for more than 30 years. As a lawyer and human rights defender, Eren Keskin is one of the main actors and plaintiffs for women’s, LGBTIQ and minority rights, opposing torture and sexualized violence. Her strong sense of justice knows no taboos, shaking even the foundations of the Turkish state. Now she has been designated an enemy of the state and has to defend herself. She faces a life sentence in more than a hundred criminal cases and could disappear behind bars at any moment.

Selected by artist Banu Çennetoglu, this screening concludes the afternoon’s programme. This is available to all on a drop in and free basis, in the IMMA Lecture Room.

About Speakers

Başak Ertür is a critical legal scholar based at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Spectacles and Specters: A Performative Theory of Political Trials (Fordham University Press, 2022). Her work is engaged with questions of legal violence, legal performativity, and more broadly with law’s epistemologies and aesthetics. She is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow, working on a book on counter-forensics and people’s tribunals. Başak’s edited collections include the forthcoming Routledge Handbook on the Lived Experience of Ideology (with James Martel, Naveed Mansouri and Connal Parsley, 2024), Manual for Conspiracy (2011), and Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward Said (with Müge Gürsoy Sökmen, 2008). She serves on the advisory board of Forensic (Berlin), and the editorial committee of Law & Critique. See more details here

Banu Cennetoğlu is an Istanbul-based artist engaged in a wide range of cross-disciplinary practices. Cennetoğlu explores the political, social and cultural dimension of the production, representation and distribution of knowledge and asks how this feeds into a society’s collective thinking and becomes part of its ideology. In her cross-disciplinary practice, which includes photography, sculpture, and moving image, Cennetoğlu explores the impossibility of giving form to absence and how the process of attempting to do so deepens our understanding of loss.

Cennetoğlu had solo exhibitions at institutions including Void, Derry; K21 Ständehaus, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Sculpture Center, New York; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Bonner Kunstverein; Rodeo Gallery, London; Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest; Kunsthalle Basel. Along many group shows, she has participated in the Berlin, Istanbul, Liverpool, Gwangju, Athens and Venice Biennials, as well as Manifesta 8, Murcia; documenta14, Athens/Kassel and 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburg. She is the founder of BAS, an, artist-run space in Istanbul dedicated to artists’ books and printed matter. Cennetoglu is currently an advisor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

About Exhibition

Now and until 21 April 2024 / Garden Galleries, Main Galleries, East Wing

Self-Determination: A Global Perspective is the culmination of a three-year research project focusing on the new nation-states that emerged in the wake of the First World War, exploring the role of art and artists in relation to the expression of national identities, nation-building, and statecraft. The juxtaposition of historical and contemporary perspectives is a key element of this project.

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


Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.