A selection on "Collaboration" at Istanbul Modern "Artists' Film International"

Istanbul Modern presents Artists’ Film International 2017, a program and exhibition featuring videos, animations, and short films by artists from around the world. Celebrating the program’s 10th anniversary, this year’s exhibition focuses on the concept of “collaboration” and will be on view between March 8 – May 21, 2017.

Exploring the theme of “collaboration”, the program and exhibition features videos, animations, and short films by 7 artists and groups from different parts of the world. “Artists’ Film International” takes place at Istanbul Modern’s Pop-Up Exhibition Area.

The exhibition features works by Cengiz Tekin from Turkey, Mikhail Karikis from the UK, Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler from Germany, Desire Machine Collective from India, Adrian Paci from Italy, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley from California, USA, and Denise Ferreira Da Silva & Arjuna Neuman from Texas, USA. Curated by Çelenk Bafra (Director of Exhibitions and Programs, Istanbul Modern) and Senem R. Kantarcı (Assistant Curator), the exhibition focuses on 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’s guest is Cengiz Tekin

This year Istanbul Modern has invited Cengiz Tekin to the program, an artist who lives and works in Diyarbakır. Tekin’s video “Just Before Paradise” will be on view throughout 2017 at Istanbul Modern as well as in international partner organizations. A conversation with Cengiz Tekin is also included in the program.

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.


About 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.


Partnership with 16 art organizations

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


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

National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow, Russia

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

Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong

Project 88, Mumbai, India

Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway

Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK





Serpent Rain

2016, 27’

Ballroom Marfa


Mikhail Karikis

Ain’t Got No Fear

2016, 10’

Whitechapel Gallery


Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler

Occupy, Resist, Produce – Officine Zero

2015, 33’

Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)


Desire Machine Collective


2015, 14’ 25’’

Project 88


Adrian Paci

The column

2013, 25'40''

Courtesy of the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milano

GAMeC / Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea


Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley

This Is Offal

2016, 12’51’’

Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles

Hammer Museum