Residency Unlimited

Ahmet Civelek

Ahmet Civelek, "Untitled (3 Blue Sandpaper Pieces in Abandoned Mine)", 2021, Site-specific Installation, Courtesy of Ahmet Civelek

Artist Name: Ahmet Civelek
Residency Dates: February – May 2023
Born: 1988
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Lives & Works: Brooklyn, NY
URL: | Instagram: @ahmetciv
2010 | Central Saint Martins for Post-Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts at Byam Shaw
2009 | Pratt Institute, Bachelor of Fine Arts


Ahmet Civelek is a Turkish-American conceptual artist based in New York City. Civelek’s artworks are concerned with defining and redefining destruction in relation to his experiences growing up in Istanbul at the turn of the millennium. Using drones, photography and industrial sandpaper, he creates artworks that investigate how humans interact with the tactility of their environments. Civelek’s installation artworks often have a participatory component relating to conflicting ideas about destruction and form. In his solo exhibition Number 3: Grit at Pi Artworks Istanbul in 2018, the gallery floor is lined with rolls of sandpaper and guests are invited to walk through the space. As they walk through, visitors damage the sandpaper with their footprints while also wearing away the soles of their own shoes. His ongoing series Floor of Destroyed Objects allows viewers to walk over a floor of broken ceramics and glass. Civelek uses these interactions to show participants a connection between entertainment and violence.

Civelek’s installations and mixed-media pieces have been featured in exhibitions at Pi Artworks, Istanbul; Entrance, NYC; Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp; santralistanbul Museum, Istanbul; The Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, NY; Southard Reid, London and Oktem & Aykut, Istanbul. He has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, VT; the NARS Foundation, NYC; Arteles, Finland and Autocenter, Berlin.

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