Respiro, an installation by influential conceptual artist Sarkis (b. 1938, Çaylak Sokak, Istanbul) curated by Defne Ayas (Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art), the Pavilion of Turkey is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), and is located at Sale d'Armi, Arsenale.

Sarkis, Rainbow, Venice (Big Bang), 2015
Neon, 830 × 470 cm

Sarkis, 14 bowls of color, 2007
Glass jars, watercolor, Dimensions variable

Sarkis, 36 stained glass panes, 2012–15
Stained glass, metal, lead
Dimensions variable

Sarkis, A Partir du Rouge, 2007
Red glass plate, 238 × 101 × 3 cm

Sarkis, Big Meteor with Seven Colors of
the Rainbow (Mirror 2), 2015
Mirror, watercolor, fingerprints
420 × 720 cm

“In Respiro, I will be reaching out beyond geopolitics, to a more expansive context of a million plus years, going back to the creation of the universe and the beginning of time, back to the first-ever rainbow—the very first magical breaking point of light. Instead of binding ourselves to specific instances within the histories of politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts, we will be embracing contemporaneity of both the present and the distant past in our continued attempt to defy stagnation.” —Sarkis, 2015

Sarkis, Big Meteor with Seven Colors of
the Rainbow (Mirror 1), 2015
Mirror, watercolor, fingerprints
420 × 720 cm

“Few artists have combined artistic ingenuity with such a subtle critique of history as deftly as Sarkis. This undertaking opens up a space in which the potential of art is reanimated. Against the current landscape of deep uncertainties, our intention is to unfurl a proposition that reveals Sarkis’s profound concern for humanity. With and through his intense and perfectionist oeuvre—especially with this magnum opus of his—and thanks to his rich arsenal of visual, architectural, and musical apparatus, we are able to tune into hidden signals and frames encrypted in mediated images and visions; dig deeper into our contemporary lived experience; most likely hurt but also hopefully heal. The focus is the transformative power of his art, and both the timelessness and the timeliness of his oeuvre.”—Defne Ayas, 2015

Sarkis, Leidschatz (Ucello) (the chest in gold), 1992–2007
Wood, neon, tapes, gold
53 × 317 × 49 cm

Sarkis, Rainbow, Bucharest-Venice (Big Bang), 2015
Neon, 920 × 455 cm

Credits: Story

Pavilion of Turkey

Curator:Defne Ayas

Commissioner:Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)

Credits: All media
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