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İbrahim KOÇ

The Loose Power @ Austria Culturel Office - 2017


“The Loose Power” is a massive three meter object made out of wood. The chair in bright red color is dismissing its function though. It seems to be broken as the result of an unknown intervention on the first sight. On the second it is revealing a sublime commentary on the changing power structures during the past hundred years regarding the space of the installation. The Austrian Residency in Yeniköy was a gift of Sultan Abdülhamid II. (1842- 1918) in the late 19th Century in respect to the coalition with the German and Austrian-Hungarian Empire in the first World War. The military defeat of this Coalition leaded to the collapse of the three Empires. As a result of the Second World War thousands of European found shelter in the 1923 founded Turkish Republic. Today the New World Order of a globalized world mainly ruled by economical ties and political diplomacy is shaken by a wave of forced migration resolving from wars, draughts and poverty in the Middle- and Far East and in Africa. The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. İbrahim Koç’s installation is a sublime commentary on the changing history rebirthing certain conflicts. The shiny surface of the artwork creates a contradiction to the lose stage of the deformed object. It didn’t age or rot. The dysfunctional chair is an object only quoting its usual function. Created as an art object it symbolizes a stage of loose of power. In spite of its uselessness the red chair on green grass carries a certain kind of grace and beauty to the garden of the today’s Consulate General of Austria. Or as artist İbrahim Koç brings it to the point: “The chair itself is matching to the main idea of the Festival mahalla. A shiny red seating hardly stands on its feet. Still it is saying welcome to all visitors.” Artist İbrahim Koç was born in Mersin in 1980 to a family of former Yörüks. As a youngster he learned the craft of a metal smith in the Forge of his elder brother before he studied Fine Arts and graduated from the Mimar Sinan Academy in İstanbul. Currently he is working on a film comparing the lifestyle of Turkish Yörük with the Aborigines in Australia, where he lived and worked for two years. Koç is focusing on Sculptures designed in correspondence with spaces in his Installation artworks. In “The loose power” the deformation of the classical form creates a resonance with the composition of the space. The choice of colors is a reference to the composition of objects in the still life as the form of expression developed during Imperial times. As a sculpture it represents a transformation of the idea of the ready made from the 20 th century. It is the reversal of the idea of the ready made as a sublime commentary to nowadays power structures. İbrahim Koç as an artist still feels himself like a nomad in no need of massive objects for comfort. The dysfunctional chair is still carrying a humoresque reference to the mode of hospitality that is central in nomad and middle-eastern culture. French artist Georges Braque (1882-1963) reminds us that "The painter thinks in shapes and colors, the object is poetics"; he also says that "one must not merely reproduce things. We must penetrate them, become the thing ourselves". The exhibition is organized by diyalog and the inenart team and is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul and the Austrian Federal Chancellery. The Mahalla festival takes place between September 13 th and October 20 th dedicated to mobility, displacement and cultural identity with exhibitions, screenings, talks, round tables and music at different venues in Istanbul. The festival gives the participant’s opportunities for personal exchange, it sensitizes the public for migration and compares different realities. The festival will offer opportunities for future cooperation. A manifesto of demands, needs and prospects in the cultural fields and for the cultural workers who just arrived in the host countries will be released as well. Many initiatives and artists from Europe and its neighboring countries who are working in the field of mobility, displacement and cultural identity are participating into the festival in the frame of parallel events of the 15 th Istanbul Biennial. August 2017