The Event of a Thread Exhibition Event


Olaf Holzapfel

Istanbul Modern Cinema

Thursday, June 13, 2019, 18.00

Istanbul Modern hosts German artist Olaf Holzapfel whose images and video are included in the exhibition “The Event of a Thread”. Featuring textile productions, narratives, and tools of artistic expression from around the world, the exhibition also presents works that Holzapfel has assembled in collaboration with the Wichí community of Argentina.

Working with means of expression such as painting, sculpture, video, and photography, Olaf Holzapfel investigates concepts such as architecture, structural forms, living spaces, borders, nature, nomadism, transience, and cultural identities. Holzapfel’s works featured in the exhibition combine geometric patterns designed by the artist as an abstraction of a city with the textiles produced by the Wichi who live thousands of miles from Germany. During the event, Holzapfel, who has experimented with a different technique and way of working, speaks about his own artistic practice and shares anecdotes about the background ofhis collaboration with the Wichi.

The event is free of charge.

The talk is held in English and simultaneous translation is provided.


Olaf Holzapfel (b. 1967) lives and works in Berlin. Between 1996 and 2001, he studied painting at Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and was subsequently an artist-in-residence at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and at Columbia University, New York. From 2006 to 2008, he was a guest professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe, and from 2008 to 2010 held a similar position at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (HBKH). In his work, he investigates the links between technology and nature. He predominantly uses natural materials which have a symbolic meaning for the people who live with them. His sculptures reference landscape and local ways of life, as well as location-specific techniques. He has had solo exhibitions inter alia at the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Chile (with Sebastian Preece); the Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires; the Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck; the Max Wigram Gallery, London; Daniel Marzona in Berlin and in the Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden. His work has been acquired for the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. In 2014, he was awarded the Gerhard Altenbourg Prize. In 2017, his work featured at documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens.  


Left: Teresa on the Rails Between the Shadows of Infinity (2019)

"The Event of a Thread" is an exhibition of ifa
(Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) made in collaboration with Istanbul Modern and supported by
Goethe-Institut Istanbul.