Halil Altındere: Welcome to Homeland

Halil Altındere
Welcome to Homeland
opening: Friday, 12.10.2018, 6 p.m.
12.10–4.11.2018
Thursday–Sunday, 5 p.m.–8 p.m.

If no country wants them, why don’t we settle the world’s refugees on Mars? With this question, Kaya Genç, Turkish political commentator and essayist, summed up one of the works presented in the exhibition, accurately outlining the specificity of Halil Altındere’s work – contextual, difficult, though ironic and not devoid of futuristic suggestion.

Altındere, born in 1971, is a Kurd, who lives in Istanbul, thus on the one hand he is the representative of the most numerous separatist minority living in Turkey; on the other – a resident of a cosmopolitan city that creates conditions for the international exposure of his ideas. Altındere gained his recognition in the 90s, both as an artist, but also as the publisher of “art-ist Magazine” and a curator with an easily recognizable, political approach. Since then, in his works he has been addressing the issues of power and social injustice. He openly criticizes the policy of the Turkish government, also extensively addresses the issue of marginalized groups – Kurds (Dance with Taboos, 1997, Dance with Taboos II, 1997) or Romani people (Wonderland, 2013; Welcome to the Land of the Lost, 1998).

Welcome to Homeland is Halil Altındere’s first individual exhibition in Poland, which presents his three projects created in 2016 dedicated to the refugee crisis. Space Refugee, Homeland and Köfte Airlines, whose protagonists are astronaut Muhammed Ahmed Faris and rapper Muhammad Abu Hajar, are micro-stories being a kind of unmediated lens through which we look at the crisis from a slightly different angle; although they are told in the language of an ironic phantasm, they never lose their connection with the bitter reality.

Halil Altındere (born in 1971 in Mardin, lives in Istanbul) explores political, social and cultural codes, and focuses largely depicting marginalization and resistance to oppressive systems. The artist who reversed the conceptions of nation-state and authority through works on everyday objects like identity cards, banknotes, stamps in his early productions, started to focus on subcultures, gender and odd-but-ordinary situations of everyday life after the 2000s. His ironic and political approach can grasp the audience easily. His works have been included in exhibitions at the Documenta, the Manifesta, and the biennials in Istanbul, Gwangju, Sharjah and São Paulo, as well as at MoMA/PS1, New York.

Project partners: Pilot Gallery, City of Cracow