Artists' Film International 2017


March 8 - May 21, 2017

“Artists’ Film International” on “Collaboration”

Istanbul Modern presents Artists’ Film International, a program and exhibition dedicated to the moving image, featuring videos, animations, and short films by artists from around the world. Held in the pop-up exhibition area, the program also includes conversations and presentations on video art and artists’ films. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Artists’ Film International this year, the videos in the exhibition focus on the subject of “collaboration” and how different types of collaboration are reflected in the artistic production process, as well as the transformative power of “collaboration” as a concept. This year Istanbul Modern has invited Cengiz Tekin to the program, an artist who lives and works in Diyarbarkır. Tekin’s video “Just Before Paradise” will be on view throughout 2017, not only at Istanbul Modern, but at the international partner organizations as well.

Initiated by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, Artists’ Film International continues this year in partnership with 16 art organizations from different parts of the world. Every year, partner organizations who share their knowledge and research on video art, select a work by an artist from their country around a specific theme. Following the curatorial work of each organization, the collaborative selection is presented to the audience in screenings or exhibitions. In previous years, Istanbul Modern participated in the program with videos by Ali Kazma, İnci Eviner, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Sefer Memişoğlu, Bengü Karaduman, Burak Delier, Vahap Avşar, and Zeyno Pekünlü.

As part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, Artists’ Film International is organizing a special event and panel for the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale in May, which will include the screening of a selection of works by artists nominated by partner organizations in previous years.

Programmers: Çelenk Bafra, Senem R. Kantarcı



Guest of 2017

Cengiz Tekin

Born in Diyarbakır in 1977, Cengiz Tekin graduated from the Department of Painting of Çukurova University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Tekin’s photographic and video works often deal with deeply-rooted elements of social life such as tradition, family, and faith, and particularly address issues concerning the land he inhabits. He treats ordinary images in an ironic rather than documentary style, presenting them in uncanny forms that disrupt the routine that is implied. By choosing disturbing images instead of a perfect photographic frame, he invites the viewer to look from a different perspective.


Just Before Paradise, 2015

HD Video, 04’28’’

In “Just Before Paradise”, Cengiz Tekin draws on his personal life to extend into a wider social sphere and the land he inhabits. The work draws attention to the debate on asylum, an issue that the whole world is witnessing and concerned about.

In the video, we see a group of men waiting knee-deep in water on an unknown shore, on some threshold where the waves reach the coast. With their feet in the water, their bodies facing the land, in their trapped state, they stand looking at whatever is on the shore. They are on the threshold of a new land, with memories of their struggle for survival on the roads they set out on in despair or to find hope; memories of those who remained behind, or those who could not complete the journey. One can see apprehensions hidden in their gaze about being accepted or rejected, starting a new life in a new place, and, most importantly, about their reception by the residents of the new land and the problems that are sure to arise.

Are there expectations? If so, what do they involve? “Just Before Paradise” invites us to cooperate on an issue that has become a common problem for the entire world. It invites everyone to face head-on the realities that are coming at us in waves even though no one knows what to do about it.


Artists’ Film International 2017 Program Partners

Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas, USA

Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade, Serbia

CCAA / Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

GAMeC / Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA

Hanoi DOCLAB, Hanoi, Vietnam

MAAT / Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal

Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland

NCCA / National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia

n.b.k. / Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany

Para Site Art Space, Hong Kong

Project 88, Mumbai, India

Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway

Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK



Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler

Occupy, Resist, Produce – Officine Zero

2015, 33’

n.b.k. / Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein 


Desire Machine Collective


2015, 14’ 25’’

Project 88


Denise Ferreira Da Silva & Arjuna Neuman

Serpent Rain

2016, 27’

Ballroom Marfa 


Laura Horelli, Nina Lassila, Agnese Luse, Angela Melitopoulos,
Eléonore De Montesquiou, Tanja Ostojić, Meggie Schneider,
Isabell Spengler, Gitte Villesen


2010/2016, 9’

Belgrade Cultural Centre


Mikhail Karikis

Ain’t Got No Fear

2016, 10’

Whitechapel Gallery


Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley

This Is Offal

2016, 12’51’’

Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles

Hammer Museum


Adrian Paci

The column

2013, 25'40''

Courtesy of the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milano

GAMeC / Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea