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Alumni News |
Aug, 2017

Beyond the Horizon – Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt at the Deutscher Künstlerbund Project Space

On Tuesday, 05. September 2017, at 7 p.m.
in the Project Space of the Deutscher Künstlerbund, Markgrafenstr. 67, Berlin-Kreuzberg.

In the autumn of 2017, the Deutsche Künstlerbund presents works by Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, winner of the 2017 «HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst» awarded by the Stiftung Kunstfonds.

With critical distance, Günyol & Kunt examine the meaning of language, symbols and media statements against various cultural backdrops. They inquire into identities, are interested in the ciphers that represent power and authority, and address political issues affecting society today.
Using familiar signs and codes, they highlight our patterns of perception, revealing some of them as questionable. Their forms of expression – print, video, sculpture/installation – are always tied to an artistic-aesthetic form.

The exhibition at the Deutscher Künstlerbund project space includes both new and older works. Extremely diverse in formal and media terms, they deal with symbols of state power and national representation, or address issues such as migration and flight, law and justice. One work looks at the central importance of a constitution as the legal basis of a state by focussing on a single word from the text of the Turkish constitution, the titular «Hak / Right», while the rest of the text appears in danger of disappearing into illegibility. In summer 2017, Günyol & Kunt made the large-format drawing «Toward the Horizon». Like their other works, it demonstrates a finely balanced ambivalence between artistic form and political content: a fine web of countless lines, each 60 centimetres long, roughly the length of a human stride. Added together, they correspond to the shortest distance between Tunisia and Italy, one of the refugee routes across the Mediterranean. The same theme is addressed in the series «That which remains...» (2017). The watercolours, painted with water from the Aegean Sea, pick out single words from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as opinion, existence, thought, life, liberty, security or protection. The production of these two works of art was subsidized by the Hessian Endowment for Culture.

Özlem Günyol (born 1977) and Mustafa Kunt (born 1978) studied at Hacettepe Universitesi in Ankara and finished their studies at Frankfurt’s Städelschule – Günyol with Ayse Erkmen, Kunt with Wolfgang Tillmans and Willem de Rooij. They are the winners of the 19th HAP Grieshaber Prize.
By awarding this prize named after the painter and woodcutter HAP Grieshaber, VG Bild-Kunst (Germany’s copyright agency for visual art) honours an artist who made a decisive contribution to the agency’s development. From the 1970s onwards, Grieshaber campaigned hard for copyright on behalf of his fellow artists, as well as being a strong advocate of improved social support for artists.

The prize money for the HAP Grieshaber Prize is provided by the cultural organization of VG Bild-Kunst, using funds held back in accordance with the agency’s plans for copyright payments in Group I (Art). The prize is thus a mark of recognition for artists from artists.

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Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt

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