Coverbild Sarkis
In the Beginning, Istanbul 19380-20200
€ 58.00
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Edited by: Ayse Orhun Gültekin
Artist: Sarkis
Texts by: Cem Ileri
Graphic Design: Erkmen Bülent
December 2022 , 504 Pages , 220 Ills.
Paperback with Flaps
272mm x 212mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5254-1
Press download
| Returning to Istanbul
This comprehensive monograph published in collaboration with Dirimart gathers works of contemporary artist Sarkis—conceived and presented in the context of the one city he keeps returning to: Istanbul. His iconic installation Çaylak Sokak, first exhibited in 1986, is considered a turning point in the history of contemporary art in Turkey. Named after the street Sarkis grew up in, Çaylak Sokak recreates his family home featuring a bathtub and his father’s shoes bearing the German words for war spoils KRIEGS and SCHATZ. A reference to German cultural theorist Aby Warburg’s concept of a “Leidschatz” as “humanity’s treasure of suffering”, “Kriegsschatz” became a key concept in Sarkis’ oeuvre. Drawing on his own Turkish-Armenian identity, Sarkis’s continunes his works presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015, the centennial of the Armenian genocide: his latest body of work Red Stained Glass traces the present through fragments from the past. Photographs from Istanbul are rendered in red, fractured, and recombined to further explore themes such as time and memory, presence and absence, identity and exile.

Paris-based Sarkis Zabunyan (*1938, Istanbul) is known by his first name SARKIS. He had his breakthrough with the exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, was followed by his participation in documenta 6 and 7. Major exhibitions include Passages at the Centre Pompidou in 2010, Hôtel Sarkis, a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Geneva (MAMCO) in 2011, and his installation Respiro in the Turkish pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.
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