The wars and genocides of the 20th century are the central theme in works by the Turkish-Armenian concept artist Sarkis. In addition to investigating the individual and collective traumas which resulted from these historic events, his works also explore various forms of remembering. Sarkis was born in Istanbul in 1938 and has been living in France since the 1960s. He has participated in prestigious international exhibitions, such as the documenta 6 (1977) and documenta 7 (1982). In 2015 his work was presented in the Turkish pavilion at the Venice Biennale. And now in Germany, the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden is developing an extensive solo exhibition featuring Sarkis’s works from the past decades, as well as several new pieces.
In terms of its thematic focus, the exhibition designed by Sarkis himself addresses the Armenian genocide committed by the Young Turks of the Ottoman empire between 1915 and 1923. It presents the genocide as a transnational legacy spanning generations and investigates the role that the German empire played against the geopolitical backdrop of the times.
Sarkis regards his artistic work as social praxis and invites the residents of Baden-Baden to engage in open dialogue. Pupils from around the region will have the chance to actively help design the works. The project will also explore possibilities of sustainable collaboration in inter-institutional networks, especially with respect to creating digital formats to accompany the exhibition. For example, in cooperation with the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Strasbourg and MAMCO in Geneva, the project will create a platform where Internet users can view Sarkis’s earlier installations from the museums’ collections via livestream.
Directors: Çağla Ilk & Misal Adnan Yildiz
Curators: Çağla Ilk, Misal Adnan Yildiz, Defne Ayas
Project director and curatorial assistant: Sandeep Sodhi
Exhibition: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden: 27 Oct. 2023 – 25 Feb. 2024
Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee 8 a
www.kunsthalle-baden-baden.de (external link, opens in a new window)