📩 04/11/2022 10:39
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality opened the doors of the “Gavur Mahallesi” exhibition, where master artist Ahmet Güneştekin brings together all traces of the population exchange and migration process with his art. Emphasizing that Güneştekin left universal traces with his works at the opening ceremony, the President Tunç Soyer“As İzmir, we will always be proud of hosting these permanent traces,” he said.
Famous artist Ahmet Güneştekin's “Gavur Mahallesi” exhibition was opened with the hosting of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor attended the opening of the exhibition, which met with art lovers at Kültürpark Atlas Pavilion. Tunç Soyer and his wife Neptün Soyer, as well as Former Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Kadıköy Mayor Şerdil Dara Odabaşı, artist Ahmet Güneştekin, prominent figures of the Turkish art, politics and business world, national and local press representatives, ambassadors, heads of associations and non-governmental organizations and many art lovers attended.
“We will always be proud of hosting these permanent traces”
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, the President Tunç Soyer“Ahmet Güneştekin made us all feel that he is a universal artist. In his exhibition, the issue of memory occupies an important place in his art. Indeed, we live in such an age of speed that; We live as if life begins and ends with us. However, if we do not refresh the memory behind, there is a risk of repeating the mistakes we made. For him, memory is a very precious thing. Especially if you remember and refresh the memory with art, then you leave much more permanent traces. Ahmet Güneştekin is a universal artist and an artist who leaves lasting impressions. What makes an artist universal is conscience and courage. There's too much of both of them. That's why he's a universal artist. But what really makes it universal is that the art of his work is interpreted by each viewer in his own way. He said that the works are the property of all humanity. That's exactly how we feel. All that art is ours. We all make sense of it with our own feelings. We are very proud to host Ahmet Güneştekin. As İzmir, we will always be proud of hosting these permanent traces.”
“Izmir was the place that filled my memory room the most”
Telling the story of Gavur Mahallesi in the opening speech of the exhibition, Ahmet Güneştekin said, “Everywhere I take your art is my neighborhood, my family. The story of Gavur Mahallesi's arrival in Izmir took shape exactly 2 years ago in the room of our Tunç president. No ordinary exhibition would come here. Because this geography was one of the most important geographies in the history of the country. Because this geography is the geography of exchange. I am an artist and a witness of time and I have a duty to leave every testimony with art. My experiences have left significant traces in my life. I transferred these traces to my art. I have never been a party, I preferred to be independent. Each geography means something different to me and it accumulates in the memory room. İzmir was the one that filled the memory room the most and left its mark. Izmir is a city of exchange. This issue of displacement does not just stop there. If you are burning forests, it is also a forced migration. The animals living there migrate as well. It is not just a human migration. What matters is what we leave behind. The contribution of my esteemed president in this process is extremely important. I thank him for his courage, determination and faith in my art. This exhibition is a very difficult exhibition. I will tell you about my works, but feel the works yourself, hear those voices, and hear those people being uprooted from their homes and uprooted. The roots stay in the soil and the stem goes. Those people still have their roots here. I hope that no human geography will experience these tragedies.”
After the opening ceremony, President Soyer toured the exhibition accompanied by Güneştekin. President Soyer visited the exhibition in the Atlas Pavilion and the part of the exhibition called “Immigration Road”, which was set up in the open space. After the exhibition that left its mark on memories, the gala dinner at the Historical Coal Gas Factory was held. At the gala dinner, the exchange choir of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality sang the folk songs of both sides.
It will host its visitors until March 5
Şener Özmen is the curator of the exhibition, which will be presented to art lovers between 5-2023 on weekdays and 09.00-17.30 on weekends until March 10.00, 17.00. The exhibition, which was opened in cooperation with the Güneştekin Foundation, showcases large-scale installations, video works and sculptures in which metal forms are completed with stone. A comprehensive book to be published by Güneştekin Foundation will accompany the exhibition.
Exhibition highlights cultural diversity
Ahmet Güneştekin explains in the exhibition that discriminatory practices, as in all mass displacements after the population exchange, become more visible with international waves of refugees and migrants. Gavur Neighborhood offers the opportunity to understand the historical, cultural and political effects of being human. While establishing a relationship with form, material and surface through a multidisciplinary work, he creates a space to look at the past through the eyes of otherness by examining the past with the present.